ALMOST 1,000 jobs are on the line in Inverclyde alone if there is a 'no-deal' Brexit.

A study by independent think-tank UK Trade Policy Observatory has found that if Britain leaves the European Union on October 31 without a formal trade agreement then 950 people locally face unemployment.

Inverclyde's MP Ronnie Cowan says such a scenario is 'utterly unthinkable' and he has urged the government to ensure a pact is in place before the deadline.

Mr Cowan and his SNP colleagues at Westminster recently launched a legal bid to prevent prime minister Boris Johnson from shutting down parliament in order to push through a no-deal Brexit.

The MP said: "A 'no-deal' Brexit is utterly unthinkable and as new evidence highlights will cost hundreds of jobs in Inverclyde.

"A no-deal would be an absolute disaster for the economy, citizens' rights, and public services - no one, not in the UK and certainly not in Scotland, voted for this.

"The UK Government is responsible for Brexit and their brinkmanship is entirely a product of ideological isolationism which will adversely affect Scotland's interests.

"When parliament returns my SNP colleagues and I will continue to stand up for Scotland's interests and highlight how reckless a no-deal will be."

The UK Government says it does want a Brexit agreement in place before the deadline and is currently working on a new proposal.

A spokesperson said: "Businesses and their employees need certainty and that's why we've been clear that we'll be leaving the EU on October 31, whatever the circumstances.

"We would prefer to leave with a deal and we are ready to negotiate with energy and good faith but we want a new deal that is fair for both sides.

"The old deal has been rejected by parliament three times so any new deal must abolish the backstop.

"We are working closely with businesses to ensure they are fully prepared for Brexit on October 31 and considering how best to support them in the run up to or immediately after Brexit."

The UK Trade Policy Observatory is a partnership between the University of Sussex and research organisation, Chatham House.

The job loss figures are based on a study first published in December last year and are part of a new campaign from the group 38 Degrees warning about the potential impact of a no-deal Brexit.