Video report by ITV News Scotland Correspondent Peter Smith
Nicola Sturgeon will pursue a second referendum on Scottish independence regardless of whatever Brexit deal is secured by Theresa May.
The Scottish First Minister told ITV News that “independence is the best future for Scotland”.
“I think independence is the best future for Scotland is because it means that Scotland can’t have change imposed on us or against our will – as is happening with Brexit.”
Ms Sturgeon said the timing of another independence referendum is dependent on the details of the Brexit deal negotiated by the Prime Minister.
“The future relationship between the EU and the UK will be the context in which Scotland will become independent. So, the detail of that future relationship will inevitably – whether I like it or not – shape some of the answers to questions people in Scotland would have about the implications of independence.
“It’s about a level of clarity to emerge so that people in Scotland, if they are making this judgement again, can make it in a fully informed way.”
As the third largest party at Westminster, the SNP’s vote could swing a House of Commons vote on Brexit negotiations.
Ms Sturgeon reaffirmed membership of the single market and customs union is her party’s bottom line.
“I cannot envisage us voting for anything that doesn’t include single market and customs union,” she explained.
“At this stage, it’s not looking like to me that’s what she’ll (Theresa May) bring back from the EU negotiations. That said, if she brought back a bad deal, a no-deal, or a blind-deal Brexit and the House of Commons doesn’t support that then I think everything is to play for – in terms of putting the single market and customs union back on the table.”
Ms Sturgeon believes the will of Scottish people is being ignored in negotiations and would demand a similar agreement should Northern Ireland remain part of the single market.
“My top preference is to stay in the EU, after that, my preference is for the whole of the UK to stay in the single market, and if that can’t happen – yes, I want to look at options for Scotland to stay in the single market. That becomes an even greater imperative if Northern Ireland gets that solution.”
When asked by ITV News Scotland Correspondent Peter Smith if she felt powerless, the First Minister replied: “We do not have the influence we should we have as a country. Our voice is lost in the bigger UK and that has profound implications – that democratic deficit has real implications for an economy and a society and we’re seeing that very sharply in Brexit and I do think the last two years… the democratic argument for independence has become more sharply focused than it ever has done before.”
Watch the full interview with Nicola Sturgeon below