NICOLA Sturgeon is to update Holyrood on her long-awaited plans for a second referendum on independence on Wednesday.

The First Minister is due to make a statement on Brexit and Scotland’s future on Wednesday afternoon, just three days before the SNP’s spring conference.

There is speculation that Ms Sturgeon will again demand the power to hold a second referendum, a so-called Section 30 order.

Holyrood voted for a similar power in March 2017, after Ms Sturgeon first called for a Brexit-related independence referendum, however Theresa May refused to grant it.

Opposition parties were told last night to expect a special item at today’s meeting of the bureau which coordinates parliament’s business to insert the event into tomorrow’s timetable.

Ms Sturgeon is expected to make a 30 minute statement at 1.30pm followed by an hour for questions from MSPs.

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After SNP losses in the 2017 general election derailed her original plans, Ms Sturgeon promised to update Holyrood on a revised “precise timescale” by autumn 2018, when the terms of Brexit were expected to be clear.

However continued Brexit uncertainty forced her to delay the announcement repeatedly.

Although there is little more clarity around how, or even if, Brexit will happen today, Ms Sturgeon faces growing pressure from within the Yes movement and her party to set out a road map towards independence before it is too late to hold Indyref2 in the current parliament.

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Some of her own MPs are also angry that she appears to have prioritised a People’s Vote on Europe over her party’s core objective.

It was in the same week before conference in 2017, when SNP expectations were also running high, that she announced her first demand for another vote on the constitution.

Even if Mrs May or her successor refuses to grant a Section 30 order, Ms Sturgeon could cite it as more evidence of Westminster ignoring Scotland in the 2021 Holyrood election campaign.