NICOLA Sturgeon is to present her plans for a second independence referendum “soon”.

Embarking on a number of radio interviews about the year ahead, the First Minister indicated she will give an update to voters on a new plebiscite once the current phase on EU withdrawal is concluded.

Asked by a local radio station that 2019 is when she was expected to tell people about her proposals for an independence referendum, she said: “Yes that would be my intention. I hope to do that soon.”

Later, speaking to STV, the First Minister said: “I’ve made clear I’ll set out my views on the timing on an independence referendum when we get to the end of this phase of the Brexit process. I hope that will be very soon.”

In an earlier interview on BBC Radio Scotland, she said Brexit has “materially strengthened” the case for independence and added that there is a mandate to have a referendum within this term of the Holyrood parliament. She said that “there is every right on the Scottish Government to fulfil that mandate”.

“Everything that has happened over the past couple of years, from Scotland facing exit from the EU against our will to every reasonable attempt at compromise to protect Scotland’s interests by the Scottish Government being spurned, to the powers of the Scottish Parliament being eroded, to the UK Government even taking the Scottish Government to court, all of that has strengthened and reinforced the case for Scotland to be independent, because these are not just academic arguments, all of this will have a material impact on Scotland’s economy and well-being for decades to come,” she told BBC Good Morning Scotland.

“The case for independence is materially strengthened from an already strong base in 2014 because of all of the experience of Scotland in the last two years.

“We were told in 2014 that it was voting for independence that would put in peril our membership of the European Union. Because we didn’t vote for independence, we now not just find ourselves facing exit, the voice and the interests of Scotland are being completely ignored and sidelined.”

Prime Minister Theresa May has said the UK will be in “uncharted territory” if her deal is rejected in in the crunch vote, due to take place on January 15.

The First Minister said there is “clearly no majority” to crash out of the EU without a deal and holding another referendum on the issue should be the alternative. She said: “I hope the meaningful vote does go ahead next week so that MPs can once and for all say that they don’t support the withdrawal agreement, and then the House of Commons can coalesce behind the alternative, and in my view that alternative now should be to have another EU referendum.”

Asked if there was a second EU referendum and the result was the same as last time what she would do, Sturgeon said SNP MPs would put proposals in place that all four nations of UK would have to vote to leave in order for UK to be able to exit from the EU.

Pressed about what she would do if the result was the same that Scotland votes to remain and the UK votes to leave, she said this would “underline that Scotland’s position cannot be protected within the current set up in the UK” and the outcome would make the case for “Scotland being an independent country in charge of our own destiny all the stronger”.

She also explained why she was working to get a UK wide alternative to Brexit. “The reason is that I think Brexit is against the interests not just of Scotland but the UK, and whatever Scotland’s constitutional future turns out to be, and I hope and expect that will be as an independent country, it’s in our interests that the rest UK continues to have as close as possible relationship with the European Union.”