SCOTTISH Finance Secretary Derek Mackay this week described a contraction of the nation’s economy in the second quarter as “deeply frustrating”.

It is a frustration that will surely be shared by many, many people, of various political persuasions, who voted against Brexit.

Most of the unrepentant Brexit voters, it seems, do not want to acknowledge the damage being done. But the economic self-harm across the UK brought on by the Brexit vote, and ensured by the subsequent behaviour of the ruling Conservatives, is utterly infuriating.

So “deeply frustrating” is both an entirely justified and perhaps even overly measured description of sentiment towards the damage done to the Scottish economy by Brexit in the three months to June.

READ MORE: Ian McConnell: BMW talks reality as Johnson camp veil slips to reveal truth of Brexit

Scottish gross domestic product fell by 0.3 per cent quarter-on-quarter in the three months to June – a marginally steeper decline in output than the 0.2% drop suffered by the UK as a whole in the same period.

The Scottish economy had grown slightly faster than the UK as a whole in the first quarter. A 0.6% increase in output in Scotland in the opening three months of this year was ahead of UK-wide expansion of 0.5% during the same period.

It has often been best over the decades to take with a pinch of salt some comments from politicians, at various times from all the main parties, on economic statistics.

Tiresome Tory claims that the UK economy is somehow powering ahead on the international stage – when it has in actual fact been laid low by grinding Tory austerity and in recent years also by the Brexit fiasco – are laughable. But Mr Mackay’s comments on the latest Scottish GDP figures, published on Wednesday, are entirely on the money. Given the facts, there was certainly no need for any political spin in terms of pointing the finger at who is to blame for these sorry numbers.

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

After all, the Scottish Government, while having along with SNP, Labour, Liberal Democrat and even Conservative MPs at Westminster provided robust and entirely sensible opposition to the Brexit folly, cannot prevent the drive to leave the European Union damaging the economy north of the Border.

The Scottish Government has not been able to stop the Tories’ miserable austerity dragging down Scotland’s economy either. This is not because of any lack of will but is rather a fact of where the powers lie.

Some new powers relating to social security were granted to the Scottish Government under the 2016 Scotland Act. But these are not great and their use therefore cannot mitigate to any major extent the impact, on individuals and the Scottish economy, of the savage welfare cuts implemented by the Tories at Westminster since 2010.

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

The Scottish Government tried to mitigate the impact on the economy north of the Border of the Conservatives’ grim austerity in the wake of the global financial crisis with major infrastructure projects. This was a perfectly sensible move. However, the construction sector inevitably felt the pain when these major projects came to an end.

It remains the case that what happens to the Scottish economy, bad or good, is still dictated by policy set at Westminster. That is not to say the Scottish Government should not try to do its best with its powers – and it generally does what it can. But it is crucial to realise the limitations of what can be achieved, especially given the extent of economic vandalism from the Conservatives over nearly a decade now.

Sadly, the UK Government is currently totally shambolic, even by new standards of poor performance set by the Tories since 2010 with their succession of failed policies.

Brexit has really taken things to a new level in terms of farce, with Boris Johnson this week ducking out of a press conference in Luxembourg because he did not like a noisy anti-Brexit protest. The money being wasted preparing for a damaging act there was no need for is not comical, however. It is, to echo Mr Mackay, “deeply frustrating”. A full-page advert, featuring the October 31 date by which Mr Johnson is so hell-bent on leaving the EU, declares: “Keep your trip to the EU on track.”

It then suggests you visit a website to check the new requirements for travel. How about abandoning Brexit? That would keep UK citizens’ visits to the EU on track, and more importantly prevent the economy and living standards being derailed completely by this utter foolishness.

Amid the farce and tremendous waste of money, it is also crucial to remember the grave consequences of a no-deal or otherwise hard Brexit for the UK economy and society.

European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker warned this week there was “very little time left” and “the risk of a no-deal is very real”.

In the wake of the Scottish GDP figures, Mr Mackay declared: “Given the repeated warnings from business organisations and the contraction across the UK in the same quarter, it is unsurprising but deeply frustrating that we are now seeing the Brexit impact on the Scottish economy. The responsibility for this contraction lies entirely with the UK Government.

“There can now be no doubt that any form of Brexit will damage our economy and a ‘no-deal’ Brexit would be disastrous for Scotland and could push the country into recession.”

READ MORE: Ian McConnell: High time Sajid Javid saw this sorry mess is made in Brexit Britain, by Tories

The Conservative Government’s own forecasts show any form of Brexit damaging the UK economy, yet it continues to pursue this path, in recent months with a renewed zeal.

Business organisations keep trying to tell Mr Johnson and his Cabinet the realities of the situation. But Mr Johnson wants his “do or die”, “no matter what” Brexit by October 31.

The situation is undoubtedly particularly frustrating in a Scottish context, given a large majority here voted to Remain. Mr Mackay is right to emphasise “Scotland did not vote for Brexit, but our economy is paying the price for it”. And he and the Scottish population at large have a right to feel aggrieved about this.

The same frustration will be felt particularly keenly in other pro-Remain parts of the UK, including London. And it will also be shared across the whole of the UK by people who voted to stay in the EU but are nevertheless having to foot the bill for the Tory Brexit folly.

Whatever Mr Johnson, Brexiters in his Cabinet and his adviser Dominic Cummings say, this is already a ponderous bill. And things will become much more costly if there is a no-deal or otherwise hard Brexit, not for these individuals but for tens of millions of ordinary people.