Nicola Sturgeon said it would be “absurd and completely outrageous” if the UK Government went to court to block a second independence referendum.

The First Minister was appearing on BBC's Andrew Marr after the SNP secured another win in the Scottish elections, obtaining 64 seats with pro-independence parties winning a majority in the chamber. 

READ MORE: In full: Boris Johnson's letter to Nicola Sturgeon

On the subject of the prospect of a second referendum, Sturgeon said: “For this to end up in court, which is not something I ever want to see, it would mean a Conservative government had refused to respect the democratic wishes of the Scottish people and the outcome of a democratic election and tried to go to the Supreme Court to overturn Scottish democracy.”

She added that it was “up to the Scottish people” to decide the country’s future saying “In this election they have voted overwhelmingly for the SNP and we stood on a manifesto commitment to firstly … continue to steer the country through the Covid pandemic.

“But after the crisis to give the people of Scotland the opportunity to choose our own future in a referendum.

“The fact that we are sitting here having a debate about whether or not that outcome is going to be respected says a lot about the lack of respect for Scottish democracy that this UK Government has demonstrated for quite some time now.”

Speaking about the possibility of a second referendum, she said “All of this talk about legality and whether or not the UK Government would challenge the Scottish Government in court misses a point.

“The people of Scotland have voted for the SNP, on the strength of offering, when the time is right, an independence referendum.

READ MORE: Nicola Sturgeon: Indyref2 'a fundamental democratic principle'

“As in 2011, leading up to 2014, any UK Government that has any respect for Scottish democracy would simply accept that and come to an agreement with the Scottish Government that puts it beyond any legal doubt.”

Ms Sturgeon said that ahead of the 2014 vote on whether Scotland should remain in the UK, Westminster had agreed that the referendum should take place.

“That is what should happen this time, when the Scottish Parliament decides the time is right for a referendum,” she insisted.

Asked if the legislation for a referendum could be put before the Scottish Parliament early next year, Nicola Sturgeon said she “wouldn’t rule that out”.

She said: “The people of Scotland re-elected me as First Minister with the first task of continuing to steer us through this pandemic, getting us into recovery.

“Then, of course, there is a question about what kind of recovery do we want? What kind of country are we rebuilding to?

“That brings into sharp focus where do decisions lie. I am not sure the kind of recovery Boris Johnson envisages is one that the majority of people in Scotland would support.”

She insisted the SNP would “lay out frankly the challenges an independent Scotland would face” in advance of any referendum vote.

Speaking about a possible transition to independence, she stated: “I am not saying it would be challenge-free, but it is absolutely the right thing for Scotland because it puts control over our future and the kind of country we become into our own hands.”

She also said an independent Scotland would initially continue to use the pound, saying it “is likely to be a period of years” before it could look to set up its own currency.

She stressed that prior to any referendum “the case for independence and all of the different issues that have to be confronted would be set out openly and clearly to people”.

She said that when critics said an independent Scotland would have no control over issues such as monetary policy under these circumstances “that is how life feels for people in Scotland right now, we have just been taken out of the European Union”.

Ms Sturgeon said she did “not accept that Scotland as an independent country would be poorer”.

However, she said the country would “have to manage our finances like any other independent country”.

Last night the Prime Minister invited SNP leader Nicola Sturgeon for crisis talks on the Union after the First Minister warned he would be standing in the way of democracy if he denies Scotland a second independence referendum.

Boris Johnson, in a letter to Ms Sturgeon, argued the UK was “best served when we work together” and called for a conversation about “our shared challenges” in recovering from the pandemic.