EARLIER today, the First Minister set out the next steps on the journey to a second independence referendum.

Below are a few noteworthy quotes from the First Minister's statement to Holyrood.

READ MORE: Nicola Sturgeon fires the starting gun on indyref2 before 2021

  • “With all of our assets and talents, Scotland should be a thriving and driving force within Europe. Instead we face being forced to the margins - sidelined within a UK that is, itself, increasingly sidelined on the international stage. Independence, by contrast, would allow us to protect our place in Europe.”
  • “The Westminster system of government does not serve Scotland’s interests, and the devolution settlement, in its current form, is now seen to be utterly inadequate to the task of protecting those interests. In other words, the status quo is broken. Brexit has exposed a deep democratic deficit at the heart of how Scotland is governed."
  • "Brexit makes change for Scotland inevitable."
  • "Scotland’s 62% vote to remain in the EU counted for nothing. Far from being an equal partner at Westminster, Scotland’s voice is listened to only if it chimes with that of the UK majority; if it does not, we are outvoted and ignored."
  • "Brexit and all that flows from it will affect the ability of Scottish Governments now and well into the future to do the day job—to support businesses, combat poverty, fund the national health service and public services, and work with other countries to tackle the defining challenges of our time."