An unofficial Scottish independence referendum would have no legal effect and could be boycotted by Unionists.
The leader of the Scottish National Party (SNP) wants a referendum either late next year or in early 2019 - by which time she says the terms of the UK's exit from the European Union should have become clear.
The most dramatic option open would be to trigger a snap Scottish parliament election by resigning as first minister, forcing Holyrood to dissolve at a crucial time during the UK's Brexit talks with the EU.
SCOTLAND'S FUTURE WILL be decided by the people who live here and will not be overruled by the Tories at Westminster, was the cry of the the SNP's conference as the government confirmed the debate timetable on a fresh independence referendum.
On the basis that the United Kingdom government could turn round and say exactly the same as they're saying now.
Scottish Government Brexit Minister Mike Russell also said a formal request for a Section 30 order "is the right thing to do" - although he added: "If the envelope is returned unopened we are in a different position". "I will share them with the people of Scotland and the people of Scotland will have the right to know them once we are at that stage".
That after the British prime minister said, "Now is not the time" for a second vote north of the border.
"If the Scottish Parliament authorises me to seek a section 30 order I will formally seek section 30 order and then we will take it from there".
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"It would be entirely unacceptable for a similar approach not to be taken if there ends up being another referendum".
Sturgeon hit back, accusing May's government of being frightened of listening to the Scots.
She added: "Just because the Prime Minister has said, a Tory Prime Minister with one MP in Scotland, she is going to defy the will of the democratically elected Scottish Parliament does not mean I have to immediately accept that it is a sustainable position".
Sturgeon said Scotland should have the chance to stay in the EU's lucrative single market and keep an open-door policy to immigrants after voting to remain, and has criticised May for failing to consult the Scottish government on her strategy.
Sturgeon said on Monday that she would ask the Scottish Parliament next week to seek London's approval for a second plebiscite on independence.
May is a unionist and will fight hard to keep Britain together but her government will be stretched in trying to negotiate a "good deal" with the European Union and keeping vocal eurosceptics in her ruling Conservatives onboard.
Speaking at the event, Scotland in Union chief executive Graeme Pearson said: "I'm here today to say independence is not inevitable".