Sturgeon's request comes as Britain's parliament closes in on a vote to begin the Brexit process and after, she says, attempts to negotiate a compromise with U.K. Prime Minister Theresa May.
Ms Sturgeon and her supporters argue that the Brexit vote changed all that since Scotland voted for Britain to stay in the European Union by 62 per cent in the referendum in June past year.
Nicola Sturgeon has set Scotland on course for a second referendum, promising to offer Scots "a choice between a hard Brexit and becoming an independent country".
Claiming the government's plan for a "hard Brexit" will "damage the economy and change the very nature of our society and country", Sturgeon announced her intention to go to the Scottish Parliament in Holyrood next week to ask it to approve a second Scottish independence referendum. "Another such referendum would split society and would cause enormous economic uncertainty at the worst possible moment".
"A choice of whether to follow the United Kingdom to a hard Brexit or to become an independent country, able to secure a real partnership of equals with the rest of the United Kingdom and our own relationship with Europe". She would reportedly allow it, as long as it takes place after Brexit - after Scotland is also outside of the EU.
Ms Sturgeon needs the agreement of the British government to hold a binding referendum but she said the decision was one for Scotland to make. "Politics is not a game", she added. On the other hand, it would clearly be seen as undemocratic for English and Welsh MPs to block Scotland from holding a vote on its own future.
Scottish Green co-convener Patrick Harvie said: "The Greens welcome the Scottish Parliament's consent being sought for a Section 30 order on an independence referendum and we will support it. That is a principle that should be respected today", she said.
"Scottish Liberal Democrats stood on a manifesto to oppose a divisive referendum and we will do that".
Scottish Conservative leader Ruth Davidson said: "Nicola Sturgeon promised the 2014 referendum would be "once in a generation".
If it gets parliamentary approval, this will be the second such Scottish independence referendum after 2014, when the region had voted to remain part of the UK.
Downing Street has refused to give in to her demands to alter plans unless it faces parliamentary rebellion over the issue.