SCOTLAND’S economy would be “plunged into peril by Brexit”, Nicola Sturgeon has said, as she urged voters in the most Eurosceptic part of Scotland to back her party this week.

Campaigning in the North East head of Thursday’s EU election, the First Minister stressed the importance of the free movement of goods and people within the single market.

Pushing the SNP’s anti-Brexit message, she said remaining in the single market would safeguard Scotland’s booming food and drink industry and protect its economy.

However for many in the North East, remaining in the EU is also synonymous with keeping the Common Fisheries Policy.

A recent polls puts the SNP on course to win three of the six MEPs in Scotland, but Nigel Farage’s Brexit Party getting one, and Labour, the Tories, LibDems and Greens fighting over the final two.

Visiting a seafood processing plant in Aberdeen with candidate Christian Allard, a former MSP for the North East, Ms Sturgeon said: “The free movement of goods and people across Europe is vital for Scotland’s economic success. But those benefits that we all enjoy are plunged into peril by Brexit.

“The EU accounts for more than half of Scottish exports – worth £15.7bn to our economy.

“Blocking Scotland from trading freely with the European Union post-Brexit will be catastrophic to businesses here. The upcoming election provides an opportunity for Scotland’s voice to be heard - a vote for the SNP is a vote to stop Brexit.”

Mr Allard, who seafood and fresh fish across Europe for 25 years before entering politics, added: “Freedom of movement for goods and people is essential to Scotland’s future prosperity.

“Scotland’s future lies in Europe. A vote for the SNP is a vote to make clear Scotland says No to Brexit.”

Ms Sturgeon later praised the impact of the long-delayed £745m Aberdeen bypass on the area, saying its recent opening would prove“transformative" for people and businesses, and had already cut journeys in Aberdeen city by up to a half.

She told business leaders: “As everybody here knows, the opening of the Aberdeen Western Peripheral Route (AWPR) has been a long time coming - I think that probably qualifies for the understatement of the decade.

"I want to take the opportunity today of paying heartfelt tribute to everyone whose hard work, dedication and expertise contributed to what is a remarkable achievement.

"And I think I must also pay tribute to the people of Aberdeen, whose persistence has really ensured that eventually this project had to come to fruition."