Scotland’s first minister Nicola Sturgeon has insisted there is an “indisputable mandate” for a second independence referendum.
Speaking in Edinburgh, she said she planned to give a “significant update to parliament very soon indeed” in relation to a new poll – after Scottish voters rejected independence in 2014.
Ms Sturgeon argued that under Westminster control, Scotland was “being held back”.
The first minister said she had been elected “on a clear commitment to give the people of Scotland the choice of becoming an independent country”.
She added: “In their day-to-day lives, people across Scotland are suffering the impacts of the soaring cost of living, low growth and increasing inequality, constrained public finances and the many implications of a Brexit we did not vote for.
“These problems have all been made worse or, most obviously in the case of Brexit, directly caused by the fact we are not independent.
“So at this critical juncture we face a fundamental question.
“Do we stay tied to a UK economic model that consigns us to relatively poor economic and social outcomes which are likely to get worse, not better, outside the EU?
“Or do we lift our eyes, with hope and optimism, and take inspiration from comparable countries across Europe?”