Nicola Sturgeon warned that her Scottish Government will call a second independence referendum if Theresa May's Tories opted for a so-called "hard Brexit". The First Minister said her administration would work with others "to try to save the UK as a whole from the fate of a hard Brexit" which would see Britain excluded from the single market.

Closing the Scottish National Party's annual conference in Glasgow, she hinted if her measures to keep Scotland in the single market were rejected, it would be grounds for a new Scottish Independence vote.

"If the Tory government insists on taking Scotland down a path that hurts our economy, costs jobs, lowers our living standards and damages our reputation as an open, welcoming, diverse country, then be in no doubt Scotland must have the ability to choose a better future," she said. "And I will make sure that Scotland gets that chance."

Sturgeon repeatedly appealed to Scots on both sides of the Brexit vote to renew the country's hopes for independence. She said those who voted to leave and remain must unite in an inclusive approach for the country.

She said: "Yes voters and no voters, remainers and leavers, all of us care deeply and passionately about the future of this nation.

"So whatever our disagreements, let us always treat each other with respect and let's work harder to understand each other's point of view

"You know, in a strange sort of way, the events of the last few months might help us do just that.

"I know how upset I was on the morning of the 24th June as I came to terms with the result of the EU Referendum.

"I felt that part of my identity had been taken away and I don't mind admitting that it gave me a new insight into those who voted No might have felt if [the Scottish Independence vote in] 2014 had gone the other way.

"Likewise, there are many No voters now looking at the Brexit vote with real dismay and wondering if independence might be the best option for Scotland after all.

"Let's build on that common ground. Let's resolve that whatever decisions we face in the years ahead we will take them together, respecting each other every step of the way."

Ms Sturgeon has already stated another vote on independence is "highly likely" after 62% of Scottish voters backed remain.

She also announced a four-point plan to put "Scotland in the of heart Europe" in an effort to boost the country's exports and take its economic stability out of post-Brexit Britain into its own hands.

The plans include a new Board of Trade in Scottish government, introducing an office in Berlin to represent Scotland in the EU as well as increasing the amount of trade envoys and international development staff hired by the Scottish Government.