Nicola Sturgeon announced a referendum bill and a citizen’s assembly on independence as she addressed MSPs this afternoon.

The First Minister introduced a framework bill for holding a referendum within the Scottish Parliament’s current powers.

The aim is to pass the half-way house legislation by the end of the year.

Read more: LIVE: Nicola Sturgeon addresses Holyrood over IndyRef2 plans

However the law would not allow Holyrood to hold a referendum on independence under the current constitutional arrangement - that would still require a transfer of power from Westminster under a so-called Section 30 order.

Theresa May has already said she will not grant a Section 30, but the bill could nevertheless be introduced at Holyrood as a contingency measure and as a political symbol.

Read more: Section 30: What is it, how does it work and can Scotland hold another referendum without it?

Brexit Secretary Mike Russell is due to outline the legislation next month.

Ms Sturgeon also announced the set up of a Citizen’s Assembly to consider what kind of country Scotland should be and help people make an informed choice about the future.

The time involved in the processes - and the need for UK Government consent to a legally binding Indyref2 - means a second referendum before the 2021 election remains unlikely.