THERESA May is being “wilfully blind” to the realities of Brexit if she believes her conference boast that the UK’s best days lie ahead, the SNP has said.

Westminster leader Ian Blackford said that, rather than a "future full of promise”, a hard Brexit and Tory cuts were damaging the economy, businesses and living standards.

He said: “There is a massive gulf between her rhetoric and the reality of what is now facing the UK. If Theresa May genuinely believes that the UK’s best days lie ahead then she is being wilfully blind to that reality.

“We are just months away from a potentially disastrous hard Brexit – or the utter catastrophe of a no-deal outcome.

“The SNP Scottish Government has listened to the concerns raised by businesses.

“The Prime Minister has pandered to her party’s Brexit extremists, and treated the devolved administrations and the business community with contempt.

“No one seriously believes the UK’s best days lie ahead under this disastrous government – and the sooner Mrs May realises that and commits to averting a hard Brexit the better.”

Scottish Tory leader Ruth Davidson welcomed Mrs May’s attack on Nicola Sturgeon for proposing Scotland stay aligned to the EU and hence in the Common Fisheries Policy.

She said the PM made clear the Tory government would remove the UK from the CFP to become “an independent coastal state”.

She said: “Whether you vote Leave or Remain, there is universal agreement that the CFP has not been good for Scotland’s fishing interests. Leaving will allow us to better deliver for our fishing communities around the country. The Prime Minister showed today that she has the energy, the drive and the plan to take Britain and Scotland forward.”

Scottish Labour leader Richard Leonard said no one would believe the PM’s claim that austerity was about to end, given service cuts, children in poverty and more rough sleeping.

He said: “Austerity is a political choice from the Tories to shrink the role of the welfare state in the United Kingdom. It is a failed attempt to balance the books on the back of the poor, and a choice driven purely by Tory ideology.”

Riffing on Mrs May’s dancing entrance to Abba, Scottish Green MSP Patrick Harvie said: “Theresa May sees herself as a Dancing Queen, but that speech was more of an SOS.

“The Tory leader’s insistence that a hard Brexit is a real possibility will no doubt lead many to come to the conclusion that it’s time to stop this mess once and for all.”