Nicola Sturgeon believes Scotland will vote to leave the United Kingdom and become an independent country by 2025.
The leader of the SNP and Scottish First Minister said her timetable for holding a second vote on Scottish independence remains unchanged and that it should take place at the end of 2018 or in the early part of 2019.
She has also insisted that Scotland’s voice must be heard during Brexit negotiations and that she would not accept being told to “shut up” by the rest of the UK.
In an interview conducted on May 31 and set to be broadcast on Monday evening, Ms Sturgeon was asked by ITV Tonight presenter Julie Etchingham if she believes the United Kingdom will have split up by 2025.
Ms Sturgeon replied: “I think Scotland will be independent, yes, but, you know, that’s a choice for the Scottish people.”
The First Minister was then pressed to give a date when she believes Scotland will have left the UK but she would not be drawn.
She said: “Look, you’re putting arbitrary dates in my … you know, I believe Scotland will be independent, I’ve always believed that.”
Ms Sturgeon also said that her timetable for another poll on Scottish independence remains “as it’s always been”.
She has previously said she believes a second vote should be held between autumn 2018 and spring 2019 so that Scotland can vote knowing what the UK’s Brexit deal with the European Union is.
She said: “The point of principle for me is the end of the process.
“Now, why I set out those dates is that that is what Theresa May is telling us right now the end of the process will be.
“She has said that the terms of the Brexit deal, the new relationship with Europe, will be known before the UK exits the EU in the spring of 2019. Now, I’m not in charge of that timetable and that process.”
Ms Sturgeon and her SNP colleagues have long criticised the UK Government for failing to listen to their concerns about Brexit and what they want from negotiations.
But the SNP leader said it would be “democratically unsustainable” if Scotland’s voice is not heard during negotiations.
She said: “In 2014, we were told if we voted Yes we would impale our place in the EU. So, Scotland voted No to – amongst other things – to protect its place in the EU.
“In 2016, we were told to vote remain to protect our place in the EU. We did that. We were then told that the UK is a family of nations and Scotland’s voice would be heard, that the prime minister wouldn’t trigger Article 50 until there had been a UK position.
“So, basically, what we’re now being told is, you know, ‘shut up, Scotland, because nobody in the rest of the UK is interested in what you want to say’. That is a democratically unsustainable position.”
Ms Sturgeon’s mother, Joan, revealed to the same programme that her daughter had joined the SNP in response to Margaret Thatcher’s time as prime minister.