Nicola Sturgeon, First minister asserts to her pro-independence Scottish National Party that, "the Independence Referendum Bill will be published for consultation next week". Scotland's minister for European Union negotiations told Reuters on Friday that while there need be no hard border with England, Edinburgh may try to take control of migration as part of an enhanced devolution deal once Britain leaves the EU. It is little over two years since more than two million Scots voted to reject independence.
Sturgeon says the United Kingdom that existed in 2014 will no longer be in existence if there is a so-called "hard Brexit" departure - one that severs economic ties to Europe's markets and leads to a lowering of living standards and unemployment in Scotland.
This will include seeking "substantial additional powers" for Holyrood as part of the UK's Article 50 negotiations, including over global deals with other nations and immigration.
Sturgeon said her party, which has 54 out of 650 seats in Westminster, would seek to form an alliance with other opposition parties against a hard Brexit.
Fiona Hyslop said if that was not the case the Scottish Government is "absolutely serious" about staging a second independence referendum.
Sturgeon says that protecting Scotland's interests may mean holding another vote on independence.
It's not just a matter that the Scottish Parliament says, "We're going to have a bill for a Scottish referendum, off we go.' "It may be perfectly feasible that you could face a Tory government that will replicate Spain and say 'No, you're not getting it".
Her best chance of winning a vote to break away from Britain rests in persuading her fellow Scots that their country is moving away from the path being taken by the rest of Britain.
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And more people are traveling on the perilous route from Libya to Italy. This year only 327,800 people made the same trip.
"It will be up to us to chart our own course and be the country we want to be, not the country that an increasingly right wing Tory government wants us to be". "It will be because the promises made to Scotland in 2014 have been broken".
"If you can't - or won't - allow us to protect our interests within the United Kingdom, then Scotland will have the right to decide, afresh, if it wants to take a different path".
Her four-point plan will see the Scottish Government set up a new Board of Trade, the recruitment of trade envoys to represent the country, establishing an investment hub in Berlin, and the number of Scottish Development International staff working across Europe will double.
The first minister's efforts at forging a foreign policy for Scotland come after the disclosure earlier this month that she was forced to meet a junior German minister in a Berlin restaurant because he deemed it to be too diplomatically sensitive.
He said: "It is historic, this vote for Brexit, because it is creating conditions very new for the independence of Scotland".
On the increased funding for primary care, Labour Holyrood health spokesman Anas Sarwar said: "New funding is welcome, but this is the SNP reversing their own cuts to the budgets of family doctors, having slashed a massive £1.6 billion in the past decade".
"Nicola Sturgeon's top priority is to divide our nation once again".
Corsican separatist Francois Alfonsi, president of a coalition of regional groups called the European Free Alliance (EFA), told a meeting on the sidelines of the conference that attitudes towards Scottish independence are shifting in Europe.