SCOTLAND cannot trust Westminster and must be allowed to decide on independence again, Nicola Sturgeon has said.

As the Scottish Government publishes a bill providing the legal framework for holding a referendum, the First Minister said Scotland has been repeatedly ignored since the last referendum in 2014 and the UK is not an equal partnership.

The SNP wants a referendum before the next Holyrood election in May 2021, making late next year the likely prefered date.

Ms Sturgeon said: “Scotland must have the chance to choose a better future than the one being offered by Westminster.

“The Westminster political system is broken and has shown it cannot be trusted to acknowledge, far less protect or defend, our national interests."

Having won the biggest share of the vote in the European Parliament election and increasing its number of MEPs from two to three out of six, the SNP is pushing for Scotland to be an independent country in the European Union.

Ms Stugeon added: “Scotland has been ignored throughout the whole Brexit process, with the UK Government’s behaviour making an utter mockery of the concept of the union as a partnership of equals.  

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“What is emerging – and what has become even clearer in recent days – is a tale of two countries, with Scotland diverging markedly in our outlook, ambition and vision for the future.

“People living here must have the opportunity to choose a future for Scotland as an equal, independent European nation.”