THE people most affected by an economic shock or a recession from a no-deal Brexit will be those who are “already struggling, whose jobs and livelihoods are being recklessly overlooked”, the president of the Confederation of British Industry has warned.

John Allan, in Glasgow for CBI Scotland’s annual dinner, called for a post-Brexit immigration system that works for Scotland, and all parts of the UK’s nations and regions.

READ MORE: Ian McConnell: No escape from Johnson’s dire Brexit farce in Paris metro and airport

Prime Minister Boris Johnson has pledged to take the UK out of the European Union by October 31 “no matter what”, but has faced major defeats this week in Parliament with a majority of MPs voting for key measures to prevent a no-deal departure.

Mr Allan warned: “Business has been clear: no-deal would do serious harm to our economy. We’ve heard it from businesses of all sizes, right across Scotland, and in every sector – manufacturing, services, education, tech. Each one faces uncertainty, risks to supply chains, yet-to-be-taken decisions on data, concerns about tariffs, or loss of talent.”

READ  MORE: Ian McConnell: Paris metro poster for slapstick British farce evokes Brexit metaphor

On immigration, he flagged a “demographic challenge” in Scotland.

He warned: “A skills shortage before free movement has even ended means many companies simply can’t find the people they need, at all skill levels.”

Mr Allan said the CBI would be working with the Migration Advisory Committee to “look at other countries’ points-based systems”, and would in the longer term be “putting forward the evidence for a system that supports Scotland’s economy”. He called for a “system that welcomes international students allowing them time to find work after graduating”, and one that is “flexible and values contribution over salary”.

READ MORE: Ian McConnell: Very British bravado on Brexit from Johnson fuels fears for UK future

He urged the Scottish Government to ensure “no further tax divergence with the rest of the UK”, arguing this would help ensure “Scotland remains an attractive place to live, work and stay”.