THE First Minister could offer an update on the timetable of a new independence referendum within the next few days.

Nicola Sturgeon made the remarks in a response to Scottish Greens co-convenor Patrick Harvie during First Minister’s Questions.

Sturgeon had told journalists during a visit to Westminster in mid-January that she would offer an update on indyref2 timing “within weeks”.

Yesterday, Harvie asked: “Scotland needs the freedom to take a different direction, to leave behind this chaos and find our own way out of the crisis. It’s why we need our independence.

“The First Minister told us that she would say something about her preferred timing within weeks. That was two months ago. So, can I ask again, when?”

Responding to the Greens MSP, the First Minister said it was worth waiting a few more days to see what happened with Theresa May’s deal.

However, even if there was no clarity after that time elapsed, Sturgeon added that it would then be the time to set her views out.

She explained: “On the issue of independence, the frustration people feel right now at our country, Scotland’s future, being determined by the DUP and a cabal of right-wing Tories is understandable, and I absolutely share it.

“I said I’d wait until the end of this phase of the Brexit negotiations before setting out my views on the way forward for Scotland.

“Having done so this long, I think it is reasonable to wait to see what clarity emerges in the next few days, even if I suspect it will just be clarity that there will be no clarity – and then I will set out my views on the path forward.

“But nobody can be in any doubt that change is needed. The last three years have shown that the status quo is broken. It cannot protect Scotland from the folly of Brexit and all that follows that.

“Even the most ardent Unionist must see that the way we are governed now by Westminster is broken. The question is how do we fix that for the future, and there’s no doubt in my mind that letting people in Scotland choose an independent future is the best way to do that.”

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The First Minister will address a People’s Vote march in London on Saturday, so any announcement is unlikely to be on that day or before.

LibDem leader Willie Rennie said independence would compound the “division and chaos” of Brexit and accused Sturgeon of being inconsistent for believing leaving the EU would be “chaotic” but Scottish independence will be a “piece of cake”.

Sturgeon replied: “The inconsistency in Willie Rennie’s position is this – he wants people across the UK to have the ability to escape Brexit through a second referendum and I agree with him on that.

“But if that doesn’t prove to be possible he thinks that Scotland should just grin and bear it and put up with the devastation of Brexit instead of Scotland having the choice to escape Brexit and have an independent future.”

FMQs had started with Holyrood uniting in condemning far-right extremism in the wake of the terror attack on two New Zealand mosques in which 50 people were killed.

Sturgeon said: “Let us today express sympathy and solidarity with victims of racist and extremist violence in Christchurch and around the world, and above all let us make clear our determination that the proponents of hate will be defeated by the values of kindness, compassion and love.”

The Christchurch shootings “have been felt deeply here in Scotland, as in other countries, and perhaps especially in our Muslim community,” she added.

She also made clear the responsibility on politicians to “tackle hatred and prejudice through the words that we use, the actions we take and the climate we create”.