SCOTLAND would suffer a “devastating” Brexit bombshell with its towns and cities losing nearly £30 billion as a result of the UK leaving the EU

without a deal, analysis suggests.

Every part of Scotland and the UK as a whole would be affected by a soft Brexit, which would retain access to the single market during a transition period, according to the London School of Economics (LSE).

However, its experts warned they would suffer a much worse fate under a hard no-deal Brexit.

The LSE calculates that, barring the City of London, Aberdeen would be hit the worst, losing, over five years, 4.5 per cent of the value of its goods and services [GVA] or £2.4bn under a soft Brexit and 7 per cent or £3.8bn under a hard no-deal Brexit.

It would be followed by Edinburgh, which would see a loss of 3.5 per cent or £3.2bn under a soft Brexit. The figure would be six per cent, or £5.5bn, if no deal could be struck between Britain and the EU.

Scotland’s biggest city, Glasgow, would suffer a fall of three per cent or £2.9bn in a soft Brexit, and 5.5 per cent or £5.4bn if UK-EU negotiators were unable to strike an agreement.

Other council areas to lose out badly would be Fife at 3 per cent (£1bn) for a soft Brexit or 5 per cent (£1.7bn) for hard. South Lanarkshire would suffer by 2.5 per cent (£720m) in the former scenario and 4.5 per cent (£1.3bn) in the latter, according to the LSE.

Meanwhile, the mainly rural Argyll and Bute would find itself down by

2 per cent (£170m) in a soft Brexit, and double that percentage (£350m) in a hard Brexit, the study claimed.

The respective five-year totals for Scotland in the event of a soft or hard no-deal Brexit are £17.2bn and £29.4bn. Places south of the Border would suffer just as badly, according to the analysis, with the City of London losing out the most.

Overall by 2024, the UK would lose £235bn with a soft Brexit and £430bn under a hard no-deal Brexit, the figures claim.

The LSE analysis follows just days after a row flared up about whether or not the UK Government had itself carried out such analysis.

James Chapman, the former senior aide to David Davis, the Brexit Secretary, claimed secret Whitehall papers showed that Scotland and the north east of England would suffer most financially as a result of Britain’s withdrawal from the EU.

But when faced with a freedom-

of-information request to release the data, UK Government officials would neither confirm nor deny the existence of the analysis, saying to do so would place the UK at a disadvantage in the Brussels negotiations.

The Liberal Democrats said the LSE research showed Brexit would be “devastating for Scottish cities and that they would be among the hardest hit in the UK”.

Party leader Sir Vince Cable pointed out how such economic modelling exercises were necessarily approximate and, if anything, the latest analysis underestimated the economic damage once the knock-on effects were taken into account.

He said: “This work by the LSE brings out the extent to which Scotland would be seriously damaged economically by a no-deal Brexit. The damage to cities such as Edinburgh and Aberdeen will hit the whole of the UK because they are central to Britain’s prosperity.

“The UK Government must guarantee our membership of the single market and customs union. This is precisely why the Liberal Democrats, alone among political parties, are campaigning for an exit from Brexit by offering the people a vote on the final deal."

The party pointed out how the percentages provided by the LSE were converted into monetary numbers by using data from the Office for National Statistics for the latest year available, 2015. It noted it was almost certain that the impact of Brexit on GVA was “underestimated given that the economy will have grown further by the UK's exit in March 2019”.

In the Commons, Theresa May told MPs it was her "mission" to negotiate a new post-Brexit partnership with the EU and, in a statement on last week’s European summit, made clear this could be achieved if there was a “spirit of friendship and co-operation”.

But Jeremy Corbyn said her statement was like "Groundhog Day"; warm words but the talks impasse remained.

"The biggest battle the Prime Minister faces isn't so much with the 27 European states the Chancellor so deftly described as ‘the enemy,’ it's her battle to bring together the warring factions of her own Cabinet and party. And the Prime Minister is too weak to do anything about it," he added.

Meanwhile, Jean-Claude Juncker said he was shocked to see reports, saying he had told colleagues Mrs May seemed "tormented" and had "begged for help" at their Brussels dinner last week.

The European Commission President told reporters: “Nothing is true in all of this. I had an excellent working dinner with Theresa May. She was in good shape, she was not tired; she was fighting as is her duty, so everything for me was OK."