SCOTTISH Chambers of Commerce warned the well-being of the nation’s citizens was reliant on an end to Brexit-fuelled uncertainty, after official figures revealed a tumble in UK economic output in April.

UK gross domestic product fell by 0.4 per cent month-on-month in April, figures published yesterday by the Office for National Statistics show.

The National Institute of Economic and Social Research think-tank forecast, in the wake of the figures, that UK economic output would fall by 0.2% over the second quarter.

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Part of the UK economy’s weakness in April arose from temporary shutdowns put in place by car manufacturers in anticipation of the previously planned March 29 Brexit date. But the weakness was broadly based, with services output stagnating month-on-month and the construction sector contracting by 0.4%.

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UK motor vehicle production tumbled by 24% month-on-month in April, the sharpest drop since records began in January 1995. Overall manufacturing output tumbled by 3.9% month-on-month.

The grim figures sent the pound tumbling below $1.27. The euro traded above 89p. The drop in UK GDP in April meant three-month-on-three-month growth slowed sharply to 0.3% in the February to April period, from 0.5% in the first quarter.

Scottish Chambers chief executive Liz Cameron said: “The drop in GDP in April...does not bode well for Scotland’s economic fortunes. However, it does confirm what businesses have been saying with increasing urgency for years now – the well-being of Scotland’s citizens and the health of our economy now relies on the uncertainty caused by Brexit to end.”