Nicola Sturgeon has said the people of Scotland deserve a “grown-up, honest” discussion about their future.
The First Minister is set to launch the latest in a series of papers making the case for independence on Monday.
It will focus on the economic arguments for Scotland to become an independent country.
The Scottish Conservatives have said the SNP “has never been able to make a convincing economic case” for independence, asserting that the new paper “doesn’t change that”.
The party also insists that the Scottish public do not want another referendum to take place.
Sturgeon stated that austerity and Brexit had caused “real damage” to the economy, as she set out her aims.
“This is not a debate about change versus status quo, there is no status quo,” said the SNP leader.
“Scotland cannot afford to live under Westminster control any longer.
“In 2014, we were promised stability if we voted no to independence.
“Instead, we got austerity and Brexit, and now are being taken on a libertarian joy-ride.
“These are not abstract issues, they are doing real damage to our economy, public services, mortgage costs and pensions.”
Sturgeon compared the resources of Scotland to that of other countries in building the economic case for independence.
“There is overwhelming evidence that neighbouring comparable independent countries are all wealthier, more productive, fairer and happier than Scotland is under Westminster,” she continued.
“Tomorrow’s economic prospectus will outline how resource-rich Scotland can match that success with the powers of independence.”
The First Minister acknowledged that not everything about independence will be “easy”.
However, she suggested that independence would benefit Scots now, as well as future generations.
She said: “We believe the people of Scotland deserve a grown-up, honest discussions about their future, and that is what we aim to provide.
“I will never pretend that everything about independence is easy.
“But the potential prize open to us means it is more than worth it, for us and for future generations.”
The Scottish Conservatives’ finance and economy spokeswoman Liz Smith said it is a “ridiculous” situation that there are no answers to key questions before the public could be asked to vote.
“The SNP has never been able to make a convincing economic case for independence and this paper doesn’t change that,” she said.
“Nationalists are consistently unable to address the big questions that the public want answered about independence – on currency, on pensions and about how a hard border would impact with the rest of the UK.
“Nicola Sturgeon has already admitted that the answers to some of these key questions would not be provided before the public was asked to vote.
“That is a ridiculous situation which would have serious implications for jobs, wages, savings and investment.
“In the middle of a global cost of living crisis, the Scottish public wants the Scottish Government to be focused on addressing the global cost of living crisis. They do not want another divisive referendum.”
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