US

First minister talks of global role of independent Scotland

  • Scotland's First Minister Nicola Sturgeon gestures during a question and answer period after speaking at Stanford University Tuesday, April 4, 2017, in Stanford, Calif. Sturgeon delivered a speech about "Scotland's Place in the World" before heading to New York. (AP Photo/Eric Risberg)

    Scotland's First Minister Nicola Sturgeon gestures during a question and answer period after speaking at Stanford University Tuesday, April 4, 2017, in Stanford, Calif. Sturgeon delivered a speech about "Scotland's Place in the World" before heading to New York. (AP Photo/Eric Risberg)  (The Associated Press)

  • Scotland's First Minister Nicola Sturgeon smiles during her introduction before giving a speech at Stanford University Tuesday, April 4, 2017, in Stanford, Calif. Sturgeon delivered a speech about "Scotland's Place in the World" before heading to New York. (AP Photo/Eric Risberg)

    Scotland's First Minister Nicola Sturgeon smiles during her introduction before giving a speech at Stanford University Tuesday, April 4, 2017, in Stanford, Calif. Sturgeon delivered a speech about "Scotland's Place in the World" before heading to New York. (AP Photo/Eric Risberg)  (The Associated Press)

Scotland's First Minister Nicola Sturgeon says independence from the United Kingdom, combined with partnerships around the world, is the best way for her country to build a fairer society at home and to make a positive contribution elsewhere.

Sturgeon spoke Tuesday at Stanford University in California during her week-long tour of the United States,

Sturgeon says independence is something that will be debated across Scotland in the months ahead, but the immediate point that the U.K. government must recognize is that the people of Scotland have the right to make the choice.

She also said it's key for Scotland to build partnerships with governments, businesses and universities around the world.

Sturgeon says Scotland is planning to hold a referendum on Scottish independence sometime between fall 2018 and spring 2019.