NICOLA Sturgeon has warned the UK Government not to “slam the door” in Scotland’s face over Brexit as it emerged a flexible EU deal to safeguard Scottish interests was still on the table.

During what was described as a “feisty” two-hour meeting in Downing Street, the First Minister insisted she remained unclear about how Theresa May will approach Brexit but stressed how she was determined not to allow Scotland to be taken over a "hard Brexit cliff edge".

Ms Sturgeon told waiting reporters: “We had a very frank exchange of views. There was frustration. I don’t know any more now about the UK Government’s approach to EU negotiations than I did before I went in.”

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The First Minister insisted she was approaching the intergovernmental talks in good faith and dismissed as “nonsense” any suggestion she was seeking to frustrate the process. This came after No 10 warned the devolved administrations not to “undermine” the UK Government’s Brexit strategy.

Following the Downing Street summit, Scottish Secretary of State David Mundell said that while there would be a unified UK approach to Brexit, he held open the possibility of some flexibility.

“There are opportunities for nuances,” he admitted. “One of the obvious ones is that Northern Ireland is the only part of the UK that has a land border with an EU member state and that’s something that will have to be specifically dealt with.

“There are other issues likely to come up with different emphases within the rest of the UK…Scotland does have more rurality in terms of its land mass than any other part of the UK when it comes to issues like the common agricultural policy or fisheries or whatever; those are specific issues,” he explained.

During exchanges in the House of Commons, Angus Robertson, the SNP leader at Westminster, acknowledged a report by the Institute for Government think-tank which warned against imposing a Brexit settlement on the devolved nations, which it said would be a “reckless strategy”.

“The Prime Minister cannot pretend to take the interests and concerns of Scotland, Wales, Northern Ireland and for that matter Gibraltar seriously. Either she will or she won’t and, if she won’t, Scotland is absolutely right to hold an independence referendum and we will protect our place in Europe,” he told MPs.

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But Theresa May stressed that she was taking the views of Scotland and the other devolved governments seriously.

The Prime Minister said: “What I want is for us, in determining the UK’s position - because it will be the UK that will be negotiating with the EU our future relationship - to take into full account and understand properly the impacts and the particular issues that are of concern to the devolved administrations.”

Referring to a second vote on Scotland’s future, she told Mr Robertson: “I suggest, if he wants to ensure the future prosperity of the Scottish economy, that he just look at the fact that, actually, Scotland has more imports and trade arrangements with the rest of the UK than it does with the EU.

"Her first and foremost desire should be to remain part of the UK.”

Earlier, Ms Sturgeon insisted the jury was out on whether or not the UK Government would accept her administration’s wish-list of preferred options.

This is despite the fact that UK Government ministers have in terms already rejected:

* the idea of Scotland remaining in the single market while the rest of the UK leaves

* a Holyrood vote on the UK’s negotiating strategy

* More powers over immigration and trade being devolved to the Scottish Parliament

Nicola Sturgeon said: “Scotland voted to stay in and it is hugely important to our economy we stay in the single market so I am going to try to square that circle.

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“But if we end up with a UK Government slamming the door in our face, failing to recognise Scotland is part of an equal partnership - which we were always told we were - then I’m not prepared to see Scotland driven off a Brexit cliff edge with all the implications for our economy without at least giving Scotland the option to choose something different,” that is, through another independence referendum.

The Joint Ministerial Committee of UK leaders, convened by Theresa May, agreed to set up a special sub-committee on the EU negotiations to be chaired by David Davis, the Brexit secretary. It also agreed to establish a work programme to integrate the new forum with the wider process of exiting the EU.

It is due to meet twice before the end of the year with another plenary session planned before the end of March when the UK Government will trigger Article 50 to begin the two-year divorce process from Brussels.

The first meeting will be on November 9 when Ms Sturgeon and Michael Russell, the Scottish Government’s Brexit minister, are expected to attend.

The First Minister welcomed the promise of increased access to Whitehall but noted: “I don’t mind having a hotline to David Davis as long as he is going to say something when he picks up the phone. There’s no point in having a lot of silent calls.

“We need to see a UK Government that is prepared to open up and involve us meaningfully and also listen to options about how we can protect, in my case, Scotland’s interests,” she explained.