Nicola Sturgeon: SNP offer 'optimism and hope' in Brexit Britain
The SNP are the party offering "optimism and hope" to a UK dominated by Brexit, Nicola Sturgeon will claim today.
The SNP leader will also tell her party's conference in Glasgow that an independent Scotland would be "a beacon for progressive values" like equality, diversity and fairness.
However, Ms Sturgeon will disappoint many of her own activists by refusing to set out a timetable for another independence referendum.
Instead, she will say that the Scottish government will wait until the outcome of the Brexit negotiations is clear before deciding on its next steps.
Scotland's First Minister will say: "The Westminster Government stumbles from day to day and disaster to disaster. It’s hard to watch that unfolding calamity and feel anything other than despair.
"So it is up to us - now more than ever - to offer optimism and hope.
"Just think how much more hope will be possible when we take Scotland’s future into Scotland’s hands and become an independent country.
"An independent Scotland, just as Scotland is now, will be a beacon for progressive values - equality, opportunity, diversity and fairness. Indeed those values feel more important today than ever before in my lifetime."
Downing Street yesterday insisted that Theresa May would again reject any request from Ms Sturgeon for Holyrood to be given the legal power to hold another referendum.
A spokesman said: "We've made our position on this repeatedly clear. Scotland already had an independence referendum just four years ago and voted decisively to remain in the UK. This should be respected."
Meanwhile, Ms Sturgeon called on Scotland to be included in any deal to keep an open border in Ireland.