Scotland's leader says she will publish a bill next week laying the groundwork for a new independence referendum — the first step toward a new vote on whether Scotland should leave the United Kingdom.

Scottish voters rejected independence in 2014, but Britain's June 23 vote to leave the European Union has reopened the Scotland question. By a large majority, Scots backed remaining in the EU, but they were outnumbered by a majority in England who wanted to leave.

First Minister Nicola Sturgeon told her pro-independence Scottish National Party on Thursday that "the Independence Referendum Bill will be published for consultation next week."

She said if Britain leaves the EU's enormous single market, "Scotland will have the right to decide, afresh, if it wants to take a different path."