The Scottish First Minister warned time was running out for the country to change course over leaving the European Union.
Writing in the Times newspaper, Sturgeon said Brexit had changed the landscape since Scotland last held a referendum on its independence.
“If an independence referendum does arise, it will not be down to bad faith on the part of the Scottish government, but to sheer intransigence on the part of the UK government,” Sturgeon wrote. “It is not too late for the UK government to change course, but time is running out.”
While voters in England and Wales strongly supported leaving the EU in last June’s referendum, Scots overwhelmingly backed staying inside the bloc.
But Scots voted by a 10-point margin to remain a part of the United Kingdom in 2014.
It was revealed on Monday that May fears a second independence vote would be triggered during Article 50 negotiations.
The Prime Minister is reportedly preparing for Sturgeon to use the start of the country’s exit from the European Union to call another vote on independence.
And sources told Reuters last week that the semi-autonomous Scottish government, which is run by Sturgeon’s pro-independence Scottish National Party, was increasingly confident it could win a second independence vote.
On Monday, a UK government spokesman said the threat of a new Scottish referendum was creating unnecessary uncertainty and division.
“The question is not whether there could be a second referendum, it is whether there should be one - and the clear answer to that is no,” a spokesman for May said.