NICOLA Sturgeon increased hopes of a second referendum after she suggested independence would only stop being an issue once it had been achieved.

In a question and answer session at an event in London last night the First Minister was pressed on whether the subject of Scottish independence was “off the table”.

“I’m not sure that independence will ever be off the table until it is realised,” she said.

Her comments come just over a week after tens of thousands of Yes supporters took to the streets of Glasgow in what was the biggest public demonstration in the city since a rally in 2003 rally against the war in Iraq. The First Minister called a second referendum in March last year, with plans to hold it between Autumn this year and Spring next year following a commitment made in the SNP’s manifesto for the Holyrood 2016 election.

But she announced a reset on her plans in June last year after Prime Minister Theresa May rejected a request for a section 30 order enabling the Scottish Government to hold a legally binding vote and after the SNP lost 21 seats at the snap election.

She told MSPs she will update Holyrood on her plans this Autumn once the situation on Brexit has become clearer. Sturgeon’s comments last night were made at an event on Scotland’s economic and political future hosted by the news agency Reuters.

She was asked about the deadlock in talks between the UK and Scottish Governments over which parliament should have control over devolved powers post Brexit and also over any engagements she and her ministers were having with the EU.

She said: “We do speak to the European side as we do officials on the UK side. At the moment this is a negotiation between the EU and the UK and we have to try to influence it in a round about way and we are working very hard to do that.”