NICOLA Sturgeon has set out her vision for Scotland’s future under independence, warning the alternative could be shaped by “ultra-Brexiteers” looking to emulate Donald Trump’s America.

The First Minister’s stark message came as a new poll suggested the Conservative lead in the General Election campaign has been more than halved in just one week – raising the prospect of a hung parliament.

Speaking on St Andrew’s Day, Sturgeon pointed to the Declaration of Arbroath as one of the “most famous statements of self-determination ever written”.

She said it would be fitting for modern Scotland to “declare our wish to join the independent countries of the world” next year, during the 700th anniversary of the declaration.

However she warned after the election, in just under two weeks’ time, Scotland could once again be facing a “dangerous” Tory government – which it did not vote for.

She said this would put the NHS, economy, jobs and living standards at risk, and Brexit would in no way “be done” with issues such as trade, migration, security and fishing still to be negotiated.

But she added: “The difference is that the ultra-Brexiteers will feel free to put into practice their right-wing vision. They look to Donald Trump’s America, not Europe’s social model, as their inspiration.

“Outside the EU they will feel free to tear up workers’ rights, environmental and food standards.

“Let’s never forget that the leading Brexit supporter, Lord Lawson, hailed the result of the EU referendum as a historic opportunity to finish the job Margaret Thatcher started.”

Speaking on a visit to St Andrews yesterday, the SNP leader said she owed it to the people of Scotland to set out a different vision for the country.

“People in Scotland are facing two very different futures,” she said.

“A future in which Westminster is in control of our lives. Where a Tory government in the grip of ultra-Brexiteers seeks to impose an ever more unequal society. Or a future as an independent country in which the people of Scotland are in charge.

“A country that offers a fresh start – free from the Westminster chaos and the dangers of right-wing anti-European governments we don’t vote for.

“Never have those different futures for Scotland been so stark. So never has it been so important for people in Scotland to have the opportunity to choose between them.

“And that’s why it is so vital for people in this election to protect their right to decide their own future. The way to protect that right is to vote SNP.”

The future of Scotland is “on the line”, she said, with the opportunities and life chances for current and future generations at stake.

She said Boris Johnson’s deal could cut Scotland’s national income by £9 billion by the end of the next decade, compared with staying in the EU.

And in the scenario where no trade deal is secured next year, this could rise to £12.7bn.

She urged SNP members and supporters to take a “message of hope” to every community in Scotland, saying there had never been a more important time to campaign.

“Talk to your friends and neighbours and explain what is at stake,” she said.

“Work as if we are in the early days of a better nation.”

“This election is Scotland’s opportunity.”

Sturgeon also paid tribute to victims of the terrorist attack on London Bridge yesterday.