"My call is that the referendum must happen next year … and I can confirm today that before the end of this year I will demand the transfer of power that puts the legality of that referendum beyond any doubt," she said.
Sturgeon spoke at a conference of her Scottish National Party in Aberdeen. Her announcement that the Scottish government had already completed all necessary legislative preparations was met with a standing ovation.
Scots voted 55 percent to 45 percent to stay in the United Kingdom in the 2014 vote but overwhelmingly rejected the UK’s withdrawal from the European Union two years later. Sturgeon has repeatedly said she would not let the Scottish nation to be dragged out of the EU.