Sturgeon will go to MSPs next week to seek approval for a referendum in autumn of 2018 or spring of 2019.
The Scottish National Party leader said the “material change of circumstances” brought about by the Brexit vote justified the repeat of the 2014 referendum.
“Whatever path we take it should be one decided by us, not for us,” she said, in the speech in Edinburgh.
She said: “The Scottish government’s mandate for offering this choice is beyond doubt.”
Sturgeon accused Prime Minister Theresa May of rejecting efforts at compromise, describing her response as a “brick wall of intransigence.”
She said: “The UK government has not moved even an inch.”
The economic case for staying in the UK after Brexit was “significantly more challenging”, she added, while saying she saw “absolutely no reason” for a hard border if Scotland does achieve independence.
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LIVE: Scotland’s first minister Nicola Sturgeon to deliver important statement in Edinburgh
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