If I ruled out a referendum, I would be deciding completely, unilaterally that Scotland would follow the UK to a hard Brexit come what may. No matter how damaging to our economy and our society it turns out to be. That should not be the decision of just one politician, not even the First Minister.
Particular steps I have set up today, I am ensuring that Scotland's future will be decided not just by me, the Scottish Government or the SNP. It will be decided by the people of Scotland. It will be Scotland's choice, and I trust the people to make that choice.