THERESA May has derided as “impracticable” Nicola Sturgeon’s claim that for Scotland "remain means remain" when it comes to EU membership.

At her first Prime Minister’s Questions as premier, the Conservative leader told MPs: “As I have been clear, the Union is very important to me. I was also clear with the First Minister that some of the ideas being put forward are impracticable but I am willing to listen to options that are brought forward and we will be engaging fully with all the devolved administrations.”

READ MORE: SNP mocks Theresa May over 'Brexit means Brexit' stance insisting 'remain means remain' in Scotland

Questioned later about the First Minister’s impracticable ideas, Mrs May’s spokeswoman, said: “The point the PM was making was that she went to Scotland on her first visit to engage with the FM, to make clear we will be talking to the Scottish Government as part of these negotiations. We want to listen to their views but are also very clear that we will be leaving the EU; we will be delivering on that.”

Asked if, therefore, Scotland would be leaving the EU as well, the spokeswoman nodded and when questioned if Ms Sturgeon’s assertion that “remain means remain” for Scotland was at the top of the list of impracticable ideas, she replied: “The decision of the British people to leave the EU - Brexit means Brexit - is our position.”

READ MORE: SNP mocks Theresa May over 'Brexit means Brexit' stance insisting 'remain means remain' in Scotland

However, a senior SNP source was adamant that the PM had given herself “wriggle room” on the Scotland issue and declared: “Where there’s a will, there’s a way.”

He stressed how there was a political will across Europe and certainly in Scotland to maintain the nation’s EU status and that there was a long way to go through the process.

“These are still very early stages and I would just say that the EU has shown in the past that innovative solutions can be found on tricky issues and this is a tricky issue,” added the source.

READ MORE: SNP mocks Theresa May over 'Brexit means Brexit' stance insisting 'remain means remain' in Scotland

During Commons exchanges, Angus Robertson, the SNP leader at Westminster, noted how Sigmar Gabriel, the German vice chancellor, had “already confirmed how Scotland is able to remain in the European Union,” and that continental support for this was highest in Germany.

The Moray MP, who has emphasised the possibility of a second independence referendum should Scotland be taken out of the EU against its wishes, added: “We in Scotland will do everything - everything - that is necessary for us to remain in the EU.”

The PM responded by saying she found Mr Robertson’s remarks “a little confusing, given that only two years ago in the Scottish referendum, the SNP was campaigning for Scotland to leave the United Kingdom, which would have meant leaving the European Union”.

On her first foreign trip to Berlin, Mrs May made clear the UK would not begin the formal Brexit negotiations this year; a view supported by Angela Merkel.

The PM explained that getting a "sensible and orderly departure" from the EU would take time.

However, at a joint press conference with the German chancellor, she stressed that while Britain would be leaving the EU, it would not be leaving Europe and that it wanted to retain the closest economic links.

"I have been clear that Brexit means Brexit and the United Kingdom is going to make a success of it. But I also want to be clear here today, and across Europe in the weeks ahead, that we are not walking away from our European friends.

"Britain will remain an outward-looking country and Germany will remain a vital partner and a special friend for us," declared Mrs May.

Mrs Merkel said it was "absolutely understandable" that the UK would want to delay the opening of the formal Brexit talks to give itself time to work out its negotiating position.

"It is to our advantage to have the UK define its negotiating stance in great detail and clarity and clearly outline how it sees its future relationship with the EU," declared the chancellor.

"So we will wait for the moment when the UK invokes this and applies for this and then we will put our guidelines on the table as to how we see the future relationship," she added.

Ahead of the PM’s visit, Downing Street announced the UK was to relinquish its upcoming six-month presidency of the Council of the EU.

It had been scheduled to take up the presidency - which rotates on a six-monthly basis between the 28 EU countries, giving each the opportunity to shape the agenda - in the second half of 2017.

But Mrs May had decided Britain should skip its turn in the light of the Brexit vote in June's referendum.

Today, the PM will travel to Paris to have talks at the Elysee Palace with President Francois Hollande. Brexit will again be on the agenda as will the recent terror attack in Nice.

*Mrs May gave her German counterpart books on the British outdoors as a gift to mark Mrs Merkel’s 62nd birthday, reflecting the two leaders’ shared love of hiking.