FIRST Minister Nicola Sturgeon will today tell the SNP party conference that the time for Scotland to become an independent nation has arrived.

“It is time – time for Scotland to become independent,” she will say.

“The last three years have shown, beyond any doubt, that for Scotland the Westminster system is broken. Scotland needs the choice of a better future.

“Scotland needs an independent future.”

Sturgeon will then turn to the UK Government’s threat to block a second referendum on independence.

Last week, the PM’s deputy, David Lidington, said that there was “no evidence” of a surge in support for a fresh indy vote during a visit to Glasgow.

Lidington said that the UK Government would deny Scotland the right to hold the vote, echoing the comments of the Prime Minister and many other independence opponents that the result in 2014 settled the matter, despite Scotland now being dragged out of the EU against its will after voting to Remain.

The First Minister responded, saying that she would not “spend too much time bothering about the diktats of a government that [she expects to] be out of office before too long.”

She will tell Westminster that Scotland’s right to choose when and how a referendum is held was “mandated in not just one but two Scottish elections,” as well as being “endorsed by the Scottish Parliament”.

The speech will then serve to remind Theresa May that the only allies her Conservative government has in the Commons are the DUP.

“If they’re not careful,” Sturgeon will offer, “this generation of Tories will go down in history as the Undemocratic Unionist Party”.

Her attention will then turn to the latest Tory attempts to downplay the rising support for independence, as proven by the emphatic results of the poll delivered by YouGov for the Times.

“On Thursday [last week], they tried to justify their position by saying there was no upsurge in support for independence. Two days later the latest opinion poll was already proving them wrong.”

However, Sturgeon will then issue a mission statement to independence supporters across the country.

The poll “shows support for independence already up,” she will say.

“So our job now is to get it surging and ensure that no Tory government can ever stand in the way of Scotland’s right to choose.”

Yesterday, party deputy John Swinney delivered his mission statement to campaigners, urging conference delegates to reach out to no-voters and the undecided.

“Our task now is to listen to views that are not ours, to find common ground and to put in place a message of hope and reassurance to our people.

“That is the opportunity the First Minister has created for us and we should seize that opportunity with both hands.”

Swinney closed with a final call for indy activists to relay the “ambitious vision – brimming with hope – of what our country can be” and to take “the unique opportunity that we have to persuade our country that her future is best independent”.