WHAT does a hard Brexit mean? And what does it mean for Scotland? In brief, it means that in March 2019 when the UK is due to leave the European Union there would be no trade deal with the other 27 EU countries – Prime Minister Theresa May’s “no deal is better than a bad deal” scenario.

The UK would have no access to the European single market and the customs union. In return, there would be no financial contribution to EU and no free movement of workers.

The World Trade Organisation rules for international trade would then apply to the UK in its dealings with all members of the EU.

That would mean tariffs on goods and services traded between the UK and EU.

Traded goods would still have to meet EU standards but there would be no obligation to apply EU laws in the UK.

Some trade in services would be restricted, and UK companies would have no access to the Official Journal of the European Union, which governs the procurement of £200 billion worth of public contracts.

The Fraser of Allander Institute published its analysis of what the hard Brexit scenario would do to the Scottish economy. It concluded that Gross Domestic Product “is expected to be over five per cent lower than would otherwise be the case, and exports over 11 per cent lower."

No-one has yet seriously challenged these figures, and one major figure who has seen the possible consequences is Ruth Davidson, the Scottish Tory leader.

But will her boss in London also see the light?