Nicola Sturgeon has launched a “new conversation” on independence as she urged Scotland to “control its own destiny”.
In a speech in Stirling, Ms Sturgeon acknowledged that choosing independence would be a “big decision” in the wake of the Brexit vote.
She said there would be many issues for people to weigh up, and she did not presume the case has yet been won.
But she said it was right to keep the possibility on the table.
Opposition parties have urged Ms Sturgeon to focus on her “day job” of running Scotland, arguing she should be looking to improve public services such as education and the NHS instead of pushing for independence.
They have also suggested that Scotland’s £15bn public spending deficit should act as a reality check for those calling for a second referendum.