Nicola Sturgeon will today publish the SNP Government’s analysis of Theresa May’s Brexit deal, raising questions about her own plan for a second independence referendum.

Ms Sturgeon and her Constitutional Relations Secretary Michael Russell will set out how the Prime Minister’s deal would impact on economy, trade, the NHS, population and access to EU funding streams.

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Ms Sturgeon promised a “precise timescale” on a second referendum once she had clarity on the EU withdrawal deal and the political declaration on future trade relations.

The First Minister has stated categorically that Mrs May’s deal would be bad for Scotland, suggesting there is now enough clarity to make a call on a referendum date.

However she has also said the deal would mean years of uncertainty, suggesting otherwise.

The co-convener of the Scottish Greens, Patrick Harvie, said last week that people in the Yes movement were “impatient” and called for a timetable from Ms Sturgeon “very soon”.

SNP MP Angus Brendan MacNeil also told last month’s SNP conference that his party must not “dither”, but seize a “here and now” opportunity.

Mr Russell said: “This is a damaging deal for people in Scotland.

“By removing us from the EU and Single Market, which is eight times the size of the UK alone, this deal will hit the economy and living standards. Ending freedom of movement will make it harder to attract the staff we need for the NHS.

“Analysis of the deal demonstrates that this is a blindfold Brexit with major issues left unresolved.

“This means that, far from providing certainty and bringing Brexit negotiations to an end, this deal will mean more years of negotiations and real economic uncertainty with no guarantee that an eventual trade deal can even be agreed.

“The Scottish Government will continue to work with others to achieve a better deal keeping Scotland and the UK inside the Single Market and Customs Union and we will continue to support another referendum on EU membership.”

The meaningful vote on Mrs May’s Brexit plan is due on December 11, the day before the Scottish budget.

If the meaningful vote is put back a day, SNP ministers may postpone the budget, the Herald understands.

Ms Sturgeon would want to be in London for urgent talks with her MPs and other party leaders if the UK government was defeated.

This would need Holyrood’s consent, but was seen as a “serious possibility”, an insider said.

Business leaders urged the SNP to include a £75m fund in the 2019/20 budget to help firms cope with Brexit.

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The Federation of Small Businesses in Scotland also asked Finance Secretary Derek Mackay to commit £100m to helping town centres.

Policy chair policy chair Andrew McRae said the “top priority” for business north of the border was “avoiding a chaotic no-deal, no-transition Brexit”.

He said: “The fact we need a deal doesn’t mean that Scottish firms welcome every dot and comma in the current proposals.”

Mr Russell said: “We agree with the concerns being expressed here by Scottish businesses about how damaging Brexit will be - especially their warnings over the threat of a no-deal outcome and the dangers posed to the Scottish economy by restricting migration..

“The Scottish Government has already launched an initiative to help businesses prepare for Brexit, with grants of up to £4,000 available - but the best way to mitigate the worst impact, short of staying in the EU, is continued membership of the European Single Market and Customs Union.”