NICOLA Sturgeon has hit back at the new Chancellor after he dismissed the prospect of Scotland negotiating a special deal with the EU.

Philip Hammond, the former Foreign Secretary who was appointed Chancellor by Theresa May on Wednesday, said that the decision to quit the bloc was taken by the UK as a whole and would now be implemented.

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The First Minister has said she is determined to protect Scotland's relationship with the EU, after almost two-thirds voted to remain north of the border, and that all options to achieve the aim are on the table.

While a new independence referendum will be considered, it had been claimed that the country could make a unique agreement with Europe while remaining in the UK although Mr Hammond shot down the suggestion.

Asked if he could envisage a situation where Scotland has a different relationship than the rest of the UK with the EU, the Chancellor said: "No."

Ms Sturgeon described the comments as "deeply disappointing" and called on the new Prime Minister to overrule her Chancellor and adopt a different approach.

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She said: "I have been absolutely clear on this issue – the people of Scotland voted decisively to stay part of the European Union and their wishes must be respected.

"That includes respect from the UK Government, which is why Philip Hammond’s comments are deeply disappointing – I very much hope the new Prime Minister will be more open to constructive discussion.

"The Scottish Government is pursuing every possible avenue to protect out place in Europe – which of course means protecting businesses' freedom to trade, the ability of workers to be protected and our right to continue to influence EU decisions."

A group of expert advisors, convened by Ms Sturgeon and tasked with offering advice on preserving Scotland's relationship with Europe, will meet for the first time this afternoon.

The SNP leader added: "We will continue to explore all options to protect Scotland’s place in Europe – and I have made clear that the option of an independence referendum must be on the table if it becomes clear that that is the best or only way of preserving our EU status.

"I hope that the new PM, Mr Hammond and all of the UK Government will understand that we are absolutely serious when it comes to achieving our goal of protecting Scotland’s vital interests."

Earlier, Mr Hammond told BBC Radio Scotland's Good Morning Scotland programme that the best future for Scotland is remaining "inside the United Kingdom economy".

READ MORE: Theresa May set to visit Scotland on first official engagement on Friday

He added: "Let's make this United Kingdom economy work for all of us, and let's negotiate with the European Union, from outside the European Union, a relationship which works for Britain and works for Europe, so we can have as close a relationship in trade and commerce as we possibly can while being outside the European Union, as the British people have determined we should be.

"However we voted, we are part of the United Kingdom and we have democratic decisions made across the United Kingdom. We will now implement the decision that the people of the United Kingdom collectively have made to leave the European Union."