Nicola Sturgeon will ask the UK Government for the power to hold a second independence referendum to take place next year.

The First Minister told the SNP Conference during her closing speech in front of thousands of delegates in the new Event Campus Aberdeen venue.

Ms Sturgeon said she is "utterly sick of Westminster and sick of Brexit"

She said: “I can confirm today that before the end of this year, I will demand the transfer of power that puts the legality of a referendum beyond any doubt.”

She said it should take place in 2020.

To supporters itching for the SNP to hold a referendum even if the power is refused she said a legal and internationally recognised vote was the only method.

She added: “Because our job is not just to deliver a referendum. Our job is to deliver independence.”

Ms Sturgeon said Brexit and chaos at Westminster makes the need for Scotland to be given a choice again was undeniable.

Ms Sturgeon said: “But we don’t just have a right to offer the people of Scotland a choice over their future. 
“In the circumstances now Scotland faces, we have a duty to do so. And it is what we intend to do.”
Ms Sturgeon said it is not for Scotland to justify the referendum but challenged Westminster to justify any refusal.

She said: “The question should not be to the SNP – what will we do if Westminster refuses?
“The question should be demanded of the Westminster parties – what gives you any right to deny people in Scotland our ability to choose our own future?”