The Scottish First Minister mooted that a hard Brexit could sway public opinion in Britain’s northernmost country in favour of independence – but claimed she was willing to work with the Prime Minister to develop a “compromise solution”.

The SNP leader also hinted that a soft Brexit could persuade Scotland to remain in the UK and keep the possibility of an independence referendum at bay.

Talking on the BBC’s Andrew Marr Show, Sturgeon claimed the Government was “making a big mistake if they think that I’m in any way bluffing” as June 23 vote had sparked a “fundamental question” about Scotland’s place in the world.

The 46-year-old said: “If we’re going to be ignored, if our voice has been completely cast aside, our interests cast aside, then that can happen on anything.

“And we have to ask ourselves in Scotland are we happy to have the direction of our country, the kind of country we want to be determined by a right-wing Conservative government perhaps for the next 20 years, or do we want to take control of our own future.

“And that’s the case that in those circumstances I think it would be right for Scotland to have the opportunity to decide.”

Sturgeon added that she would look to rip Scotland out of Britain “much quicker” if there was a hard Brexit, as opposed to waiting five or 10 years.

Yet she added: “But let me not get away from this point, I’m putting to Theresa May a compromise solution.”