NICOLA Sturgeon is set to outline “the next steps in the campaign to secure Scotland’s future as an independent country” on Friday.

The SNP leader’s Brexit day speech will follow on from a debate in Holyrood on Wednesday when MSPs will be asked to back indyref2 and the principle “that it is the right of the people of Scotland to determine their future”.

Earlier this month, Boris Johnson rejected the First Minister’s request to devolve the powers necessary to hold a legally watertight vote.

The Prime Minister said he had “carefully considered and noted” Sturgeon’s arguments, but said that “another independence referendum would continue the political stagnation that Scotland has seen for the last decade, with Scottish schools, hospitals and jobs again left behind because of a campaign to separate the UK”.

He said that he could not agree "to any request for a transfer of power that would lead to any further independence referendums”.

Speaking ahead of the debate, Sturgeon said: “Friday will be a sad day for Scotland as we are taken out of the European Union against our will.

“While the impacts on business and citizens may not be immediate, there is no doubt that from 11pm on Friday 31st January there will have been a material change in Scotland’s circumstances against the wishes of the vast majority of people in Scotland.

“It will also be clear that a future in Europe can only be achieved by Scotland becoming an independent country – and it is hope of a better future that must now be our focus.

“This week I will ask Parliament to endorse the mandate the people have given us to put the question of Scotland’s future back to them in a new public vote.

“On Friday, I will then set out the next steps as we continue the campaign to secure Scotland’s future as an independent nation.” Wednesday’s debate will see MSPs asked to recognise“the sovereign right of the Scottish people to determine the form of Government best suited to their needs” and to agree there “has been a material change in circumstances since 2014 and that a referendum should be held so that the people of Scotland can decide if they wish to become an independent country”.

The motion, put forward by the SNP administration, also calls on the UK Government to “reach an agreement with the Scottish Government on such a referendum taking place on a date and in a manner determined by the Scottish Parliament, and which the Scottish Government proposes should take place in 2020.”

With the SNP and the Greens holding a majority in Holyrood it is highly likely the motion will pass.

The debate could also put strain on Labour which has come under pressure from some senior figures including MSPs Monica Lennon and Neil Findlay to back a new referendum.

The First Minister’s official spokesman has also revealed plans to breach protocol and fly the European flag over St Andrews House, the HQ of the Scottish Government, on Friday and over the weekend.

Brexit Secretary Michael Russell is also due to update parliament on Thursday on whether agreement has been reached "on Scotland’s involvement in the next phase of Brexit negotiations".

Meanwhile, the Scottish Government will relaunch Hey Europe – part of the Scotland is Open campaign, in countries across the EU as part of efforts “to protect Scotland’s economy and population from negative attitudes toward the UK as a result of Brexit and to encourage European citizens to continue to visit, work and live in Scotland.“