AROUND 100,000 Scots face losing their job in the event of a no-deal Brexit, MSPs have been told.

Scottish Brexit Secretary Mike Russell insisted "things will change, and change very fast for the worse" if the UK crashes out of the EU without an agreement on March 29.

READ MORE: Scottish unemployment rate falls to new record low 

He said Finance Secretary Derek Mackay will publish a new paper on the economic cost of a no-deal Brexit later this week.

In a statement at Holyrood, Mr Russell said: "A no-deal Brexit could, we estimate, result in an increase in unemployment in Scotland of around 100,000 people, more than doubling the unemployment rate.

"We would go from a record low to a level not far off that at the depths of the last recession, with all the human costs which that would entail."

READ MORE: Analysis: lack of progress with Brussels means extending Article 50 becomes inevitable 

He added: "Whatever we as a government do, and we will do everything we can, we simply could not avoid that sort of damage being done to our economy and our country.

"But one person could - the Prime Minister could, if she were to immediately agree an extension to Article 50 and rule out with concrete legislative steps any no-deal outcome."

He said securing an extension would not be difficult, adding: "If such a request were to be made, no one in Europe would oppose it."

It comes after the University of Strathclyde's Fraser of Allander Institute warned of the economic impact of a disorderly no-deal Brexit last year. 

It said Bank of England analysis showed unemployment across the UK could rise to 7.5%. 

If this was replicated in Scotland, it would be the equivalent of around 100,000 people being pushed out of work, the Institute said.

Scottish unemployment fell below 100,000 for the first time at the end of last year.

Mr Russell said a no-deal Brexit remains a "significant and live risk" which would lead to a "major dislocation" for the Scottish economy. 

He said the Scottish Government would refuse consent for Theresa May's Withdrawal Agreement Bill if it comes before Holyrood for approval.