WITH Theresa May expected to confirm in a speech today that the UK is heading for a hard Brexit, Nicola Sturgeon has called on Scots to ask themselves what kind of country they want to live in.

Speaking to Sky News yesterday, Sturgeon said if the reports were right and the Prime Minister did say she wanted the country out of the single market then it was “deeply troubling”.

“It becomes then not just a question of should we be in or out of the EU,” the First Minister said. “That actually starts to become a funda- mental question of what kind of country do we want to be.”

She added: “Whether they voted leave or remain – that starts to raise pretty profound and fundamental questions about what kind of country we want to be – and for Scotland not just what kind of country we want to be, but who gets to decide that, because this is not a path that the majority of people in Scotland decided to take.”

Last June, 62 per cent of Scots voted to remain in the referendum, but the support for Brexit in the rest of the country made that irrelevant.

Sturgeon went on: “I’ve been very clear that the option of an independence referendum has to be on the table because if it isn’t then Scotland risks being taken down a really damaging path with no control over the future of our own country.”

Holyrood will debate Brexit today, with the Scottish Government asking for MSPs to back Scotland’s place in Europe, the Norway-style proposal published by First Minister before Christmas.

The Tories have tabled an amendment to the Bill calling on MSPs to recognise “that trade within the UK domestic market is four times as important to Scotland compared to trade with the EU’s single market” and that the country as a whole will be leaving the Europe Union.

Willie Rennie from the Liberal Democrats is asking for all the Scottish MPs in the House of Commons to vote against Article 50 if, as suspected, the appeals court agrees with the High Court and gives them a vote on the trigger for starting the official process of Brexit.

Meanwhile, Labour say the Government should be concentrating on what happens after Article 50, “with a view to maintaining as many as possible of the benefits of the UK’s relationship with Europe in any transitional period”.

In a speech to the David Hume Institute in Edinburgh, Scottish Labour leader Kezia Dugdale will call for Holyrood to have power over immigration, to allow decisions to be “taken at a more local level”.

She said Scottish Labour would explore a model as used in Quebec, which has a special agreement with the Canadian government on immigration. “We need to seriously consider the case for decisions about immigration being taken at a more local level, along the lines of the model that is in place in Canada,” she said.

“This would allow different parts of the United Kingdom to have immigration policy that meets their particular needs.”

Dugdale also warned the First Minister that a second referendum on independence could leave Scotland outside of the EU: “If the First Minister is serious about getting the best deal for Scotland there is only one thing that she should do – take the threat of a second independence referendum off the table entirely.

“This would be in the national interest, and would put the opinion of a majority of Scots ahead of her own supporters.

“Because here are the facts: Nicola Sturgeon knows that a second independence referendum in the next few years would fail.”

Speaking ahead of the debate, Scottish Brexit minister Michael Russell said: “The threat of a Tory hard Brexit, taking us out of a single market eight times bigger than the UK’s alone, is getting bigger by the day.

“Given that threat, today’s debate at Holyrood is an important opportunity for our national Parliament to make sure Westminster gets the message that Scotland is firmly opposed to such a Tory hard Brexit and its disastrous economic consequences, which are underlined by the fact the Pound has been plummeting on the international markets, hitting its lowest level in more than three months.”