NICOLA Sturgeon described Theresa May’s latest Brexit statement as “a dead duck” yesterday, as the Prime Minister launched a furious attack on European leaders.

The Tory leader was humiliated during last week’s summit in Salzburg, after her Chequers plans were utterly rejected.

READ MORE: EU citizens sceptical of Theresa May's post-Brexit assurances

In a hastily organised statement in Downing Street just hours after she touched down in London, May told the Europeans not to expect to her to “overturn the result of the referendum”.

“Nor,” she added, “will I break up my country.”

READ MORE: Theresa May’s Government is lost in a Brexit fantasy land

Sturgeon called the statement “dreadful.”

“Chequers is a dead duck but if [May’s] tactic now is to try and double down on those proposals and then seek to blame the EU for a no-deal outcome, then she will do huge damage to all of those she is supposed to serve,” she warned.

READ MORE: European judges to have final say on Scottish Article 50 case

The First Minister added that “the only remotely workable way for Brexit to happen is for the UK to stay in the single market and customs union.”

“A ‘no deal’ or ‘no detail‘ Brexit are simply not acceptable – particularly for Scotland, where we did not vote for any of this.”

May’s angry response was seemingly sparked in part because European Council president Donald Tusk had played a prank on her during Thursday’s EU summit.

At one point during the meeting Tusk ushered May over to some strategically positioned cakes, and offered her one of the tasty treats.

But after the summit the former Polish Prime Minister posted a picture on Instagram of him and May beside the petit fours, with the caption: “A piece of cake, perhaps? Sorry, no cherries,” referencing claims of both “cherry picking” and the UK being able to have its cake and eat it.

In her statement, the Prime Minister insisted she had always treated the EU with “nothing but respect”. “The UK expects the same,” she demanded.

The statement, which was delayed by 10 minutes because of a lack of power inside Downing Street, sent the pound plummeting.

May said the UK and the EU were at an “impasse,” citing irreconcilable differences on the UK’s future relationship with Europe and on the Irish border.

“What the EU were offering would mean the UK would “still have to abide by the all EU rules, uncontrolled immigration from the EU would continue and we couldn’t do trade deals we want with other countries,” she said.

May put the blame for the collapse in the talks squarely at the feet of the European Council’s president.

“Yesterday, Donald Tusk said our proposals would undermine the single market. He didn’t explain how in any detail or make any counter-proposal.

“So we are at an impasse.”

She added: “At this stage in the negotiations it is not acceptable to simply reject the other side’s proposals without a detailed explanation and counter proposals, so we now need to hear from the EU, what the real issues are and what their alternative is so that we can discuss them, until we do we cannot make progress.”

In a defiant final message, May said: “The EU should be clear: I will not overturn the result of the referendum.

“Nor will I break up my country.

“We need serious engagement on resolving the two big problems in the negotiations.

“We stand ready.”

Scottish Tory leader Ruth Davidson offered the Prime Minister her support. “As we seek to find a way through the current impasse, I hope such good faith and respect will be reciprocated,” she said.

Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn said “political games from both the EU and our government need to end”.

“The Tories have spent more time arguing among themselves than negotiating with the EU,” he added.