The National:

FIRST Minister Nicola Sturgeon has offered an update on the timing of a second independence referendum.

Amid the shambles that is this Tory Brexit, and the constant sidelining of Scotland in the process, more and more Scots are seeing independence as the only viable escape route.

The Brexit date is still set at March 29, drawing ever closer as Theresa May fails to get her deal passed.

Now, the First Minister has addressed the issue of the timing of a second independence referendum, along with her support for a People's Vote.

Sturgeon confirmed that there would an update on this issue "in the next matter of weeks", as she was being interviewed.

She said: “I’ll say more about the timing of a referendum in the next matter of weeks, but I do think – I want to see the UK stay in the EU, I think that’d be best for the whole UK, but I think for Scotland, even when Scotland’s independent, that serves our interest best as well.

“That’s why we’re backing the People’s Vote, the second EU referendum. But if that’s not possible, and even in terms of our wider interest, the chaos and the fiasco of the last couple of years have shown that the worst thing for Scotland is to be thirled to Westminster when it’s making such a mess of things. We’d be far better off in charge of our own destiny.”

The First Minister was then asked: “So your priority is a people’s vote first and then an independence referendum? You’d really just rather go to an independence referendum wouldn’t you?”

She replied: “Well, I’m giving you a great exclusive here – I really support Scottish independence and I would prefer us to be independent.”

“So you would do that first?”

The First Minister replied:  “Look, I will set out the timing when I think that is the appropriate moment.

“Right now, the UK is facing a massive constitutional, economic and social crisis. And if Scotland was independent right now, we’d still probably prefer to see the rest of the UK in the European Union.

“So we’ll be, as we have been in the House of Commons, responsible in trying to be a voice of common sense. Now, time is running out for that approach, I don’t deny that, but the stakes are so high that we must continue to do everything we can to find that better way forward."

Former SNP MP and National columnist George Kerevan urged Yes activists to pile on the pressure in calling for the fresh vote.

He tweeted: "Calling all Yes groups, SNP branches: we need max pressure NOW on SNP leaders to call IndyRef2. UK state in crisis. Our job NOT to save it but declare independence."

Momentum is growing, and the Yes movement is ready...