The SNP has described the comments made by Scottish Tory candidate Douglas Lumsden on Brexit as “appalling”.
Lumsden, who is standing in Aberdeen Central, told BBC’s Newsnight that Brexit was “out of the way now”.
The Aberdeen City Council co-leader also said that there were “some hiccups at the start of Brexit” but “we’re through that”.
The SNP’s Stephen Flynn, who represents a separate seat in Aberdeenshire, accused Lumsden of having his “head in the sand” and ignoring the impact of Brexit on the nation’s fishing community.
Lumsden hit back by pointing to a recent London School of Economics study. The report projected that the economic costs of independence would be two to three times greater than the impact of Brexit if Scots voted to leave the United Kingdom.
Flynn said: “To describe the devastation and hardship that businesses have suffered because of Brexit as a hiccup is downright appalling and shows that the Tories are completely out of touch with the damage they have caused.
“To even suggest that we’re ‘through that’ is as ignorant as it is misleading – key exports have plummeted, fishermen have been betrayed, freedom of movement has been binned, violence has erupted in Northern Ireland and there is still no deal for our key financial services.
“The people of Scotland didn’t vote for this sorry Brexit mess and when Douglas Lumsden finally removes his head from the sand he should hang it in shame for defending the indefensible.”
Lumsden accused the SNP of “not valuing democracy” and argued that Scottish business would bounce back after Covid restrictions are eased.
“Scottish companies will begin to trade not only with the EU but right across the world as new exciting opportunities for trade will emerge,” he said.
“The SNP shameful attempt to focus on independence at a time of a world pandemic proves how out of touch the SNP are from the reality of people’s wishes in Scotland.”
The remark came days after JPMorgan boss Jamie Dimon revealed plans to move EU-focused business out of London.
In a letter to shareholder, Dimon wrote: “We may reach a tipping point many years out when it may make sense to move all functions that service Europe out of the United Kingdom and into continental Europe.”
On Brexit he added: “In the short run (ie, the next few years), this cannot possibly be a positive for the United Kingdom’s GDP – the effect after that will be completely based upon whether the United Kingdom has a comprehensive and well-executed strategic plan that is acceptable to Europe.”