FIRST Minister Nicola Sturgeon has issued a scathing response to the UK Government's "11th-hour" Brexit deal with the EU.

The deal was agreed by negotiators from the UK and the European Union this afternoon following months of talks and frantic last-minute wrangling.

A UK source claimed the deal delivered “everything that the British public was promised during the 2016 referendum”.

The Welsh and Scottish first ministers were critical of the announcement as Boris Johnson claimed the deal would be good for the whole of the UK.  

Below is Nicola Sturgeon's full response to the deal announcement.

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It beggars belief that in the midst of a pandemic and economic recession Scotland has been forced out of the EU single market and customs union with all the damage to jobs that will bring.

A deal is better than No Deal. But, just because, at the 11th hour, the UK Government has decided to abandon the idea of a no-deal outcome, it should not distract from the fact that they have chosen a hard Brexit, stripping away so many of the benefits of EU membership.

READ MORE: Nicola Sturgeon furious as Brexit deal excludes key Scottish export

While we do not yet have full details on the nature of the deal, it appears major promises made by the UK Government on fisheries have been broken and the extent of these broken promises will become apparent to all very soon.

People in Scotland voted overwhelmingly to remain in the EU but their views have been ignored.

Nicola Sturgeon said Boris Johnson is leading Scotland into a 'far harder Brexit than could have been imagined' in 2016

This is a far harder Brexit than could have been imagined when the EU referendum took place, damaging and disrupting this nation’s economy and society at the worst possible time.

We are doing everything we can to mitigate against the consequences of the UK Government’s actions – but we cannot avert every negative outcome.

READ MORE: Scotland reacts as UK and EU secure Brexit trade agreement

We know that businesses are already struggling under the burden of Covid-19, and are now faced with the need to prepare for this hard Brexit in little more than a week’s time. We will do all we can to help them and are issuing updated information and advice and urge those most affected, including businesses, to prepare.

Scotland did not vote for any of this and our position is clearer than ever. Scotland now has the right to choose its own future as an independent country and once more regain the benefits of EU membership.”