The Scottish cabinet will hold an emergency meeting to discuss the next steps the government should take following the UK's decision to leave the EU.

While voters opted to leave the European Union by a margin of 52% to 48%, Scotland opted overwhelmingly to be part of the EU, by 62% to 38%, a difference which prompted First Minister Nicola Sturgeon to warn the UK that a second vote on Scottish independence is now "highly likely".

The SNP leader confirmed her government will begin to draw up the legislation that could see a fresh independence referendum take place within the next two years.

"It is, therefore, a statement of the obvious that a second referendum must be on the table, and it is on the table," said Sturgeon, who campaigned for a Remain vote.

The Scottish Cabinet will discuss its next moves in detail when it gathers this morning, with Sturgeon expected to issue a further statement following the meeting.

Some opposition leaders have said they did not want to see another Scottish independence referendum.

Credit: PA

Scottish Conservative leader Ruth Davidson, another prominent figure in the pro-EU camp, said such a move is not "in the best interests of the people of Scotland".

The 1.6 million votes cast in this referendum in favour of remain do not wipe away the two million votes that we cast less than two years ago.

Ruth Davidson

Scottish Labour leader Kezia Dugdale, who has discussed the Brexit victory with Sturgeon, said she stands ready to work with the First Minister "in the best interests of the people of Scotland", but added: "Labour's manifesto ruled out a second referendum in the lifetime of this Parliament - we won't be changing our minds any time soon."