Nicola Sturgeon has said the Scottish Government will pay any fees that EU citizens working in the public sector may need to pay to stay in Scotland after Brexit.

In her speech later this week, First Minister Nicola Sturgeon will commit to exploring "all options" to secure EU citizens' status in the country.

This includes meeting the costs any public sector workers might be charged to stay in the UK as a result of leaving the EU.

Theresa May has said that EU citizens living in the UK after Brexit will be offered a new “settled status”, but they will also all be required to apply for a special ID card granting them the right to live in Britain. A British embassy source told the Sunday Herald that the charge was expected to be similar to that for a UK passport, which is currently £72.50.

Sturgeon said her government would meet that cost. "People who are contributing to our country should not have to pay a fee to stay here," she said. "It is their right as EU citizens."

Sturgeon added: "EU citizens have made their lives here and are part of our community. They contribute to our economy, work in our universities, teach in our schools and work in our health service, just as those who were born in Scotland do. EU citizens make an enormous contribution and we must recognise that.

"After 18 months, many still do not have the answers they seek. As a result, some are choosing to leave and others who would have been attracted to the UK and Scotland no longer wish to come here. That is a disgrace. The UK Government must guarantee their rights and make the process for staying here as simple and easy as possible."

It is estimated around 20,000 EU citizens work directly for Scotland's public sector, including the NHS, with many more employed in services such as social care.

The First Minister will also confirm that the Scottish Government will expand its migration support for private businesses who employ people from the EU and other countries.