THE principal of the University of Glasgow and chair of the Russell Group has warned that a no-deal Brexit could cause a talent drain in Scotland’s universities.

Speaking to Our Future Our Choice (OFOC) Scotland, the national activist group that is campaigning for a second referendum on the Brexit deal, professor Anton Muscatelli warned of the “lack of clarity” that a no-deal Brexit would bring to the university sector in Scotland.

“We would argue that no-deal is something that should be avoided at all costs,” he said.

“At the moment we attract some fantastic talent. Around 3000 of our students and 21% of our academic colleagues at the University of Glasgow are from EU countries.

“A no-deal would cause such dislocation and such uncertainty that that flow of talent would come to a halt. We want to avoid that.

“There needs to be a very clear message from the future UK Government around how European citizens would be welcomed into this country.”

During the interview, Muscatelli hit out at the UK Government’s planned three-year “leave to remain” programme in the event of a no-deal Brexit outcome.

When asked if there had been any clarity about what this scheme entailed for Scottish universities, whose undergraduate courses last four years, Muscatelli replied: “None whatsoever.

“Frankly, I don’t understand why the temporary leave to remain wasn’t adapted to different parts of the UK.”

The University of Glasgow principal compared the potential economic impact of a No-Deal Brexit as “unchartered waters.”

“The kind of dislocation that no-deal would cause to trade is like nothing else we have seen in modern times.”

The interview is part of a series being led by OFOC Scotland to illustrate what the impact of Brexit will have on different sectors within Scotland, particularly for young people.

Director of OFOC Scotland Harry McNeill said: “With both Conservative leadership candidates arguing that they would be prepared to leave with No-Deal but saying little about the implications, we want to publicise just how dangerous it would be to cut ties with Europe for Scotland’s biggest employers.”