Tuesday 27 September 2016 12:17 pm

Nicola Sturgeon is not a fan of hard Brexit, and wants to retain access to the Single Market for Scotland’s businesses

First Minister of Scotland Nicola Sturgeon has today voiced her support for maintaining access to the Single Market, slamming the idea that a so-called hard Brexit is absolutely necessary.

Speaking at the Institute of Directors (IoD) Annual Convention, Sturgeon noted that retaining access to the Single Market was "crucial to businesses in Scotland" and added such access was "an integral part of our vision for Scotland's economy".

The First Minister said she was of the opinion that there was no "clear mandate for what is generally known as a hard Brexit", adding: "I don't think we should except the inevitability of a hard Brexit."

However, she also commented that, while she was "proud" of the fact Scotland voted overwhelmingly to remain part of the EU, she could not ignore the millions in the region who had voted to leave and acknowledged "retaining freedom of movement will not satisfy everyone".

Read more: Liam Fox is moving the UK towards a so-called hard Brexit

Sturgeon added she was keen to work closely with Theresa May and her government during the Brexit negotiation, but, attempting to be as tactful as possible, also noted that "we would all benefit greatly from some clarity" about what the negotiating position was.

As well as expressing her views on Brexit, the First Minister encouraged bolstering links between politics and businesses, remarking: "We see business as a partner in delivering social progress."

Just yesterday, sterling tumbled to a five-week low against the Euro as the City reacted to fears that a hard Brexit could be on the cards.