The Scottish Labour leader claimed Ms Sturgeon was using Brexit as the “latest excuse” in a long line of attempts to split the United Kingdom.
Ms Sturgeon faced a torrent of abuse during First Minister’s Questions, with her counterparts demanding she takes responsibility for Scotland’s issues rather than blame the Conservatives or Labour.
Ms Dugdale, speaking in Holyrood, blasted: “When the last Labour government introduced groundbreaking anti-discrimination laws, maternity and paternity leave, the National Minimum Wage, tax credits, rights at work and civil partnerships, the SNP were arguing for Scotland to leave the United Kingdom.
“When the UK Labour government delivered a Scottish parliament – the expressed will of the people following a referendum – the SNP still campaigned for Scotland to leave the United Kingdom.
Kezia Dugdale was ruthless in her criticism of the SNP's independence demands
Brexit isn’t the motivation for another referendum
“Brexit isn’t the motivation for another referendum, it’s just the latest excuse!”
Ruth Davidson, the Conservative’s Scottish leader, joined Ms Dugdale attacking the SNP leader before a two-day debate on whether to seek permission to hold a re-run of the 2014 independence referendum.
However, the argument was rebuked by Ms Davidson, who shamed the Scottish Government’s “gung-ho” approach to another vote.
Speaking to Sky News, she said: “The Scottish government would seek grievance in a Christmas present, that is not a difficult thing to do and try.
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“Everybody knew it was going to be triggered in March, the Scottish Government did slightly preempt the process last Monday when they said, ‘It didn’t matter what is written in the letter we send to the EU, it doesn’t matter what the UK Government does, we’re still gung-ho for another referendum’.
“Literally, Theresa May could have done anything in the last nine months, because of the day after the Brexit vote, Nicola Sturgeon stood up and said, ‘I have already instructed the Scottish Government officials to draw up the necessary legislation for a second independence referendum’.”
Responding to her critics, Ms Sturgeon claimed Scotland’s future should be decided by the people who live there rather than being “imposed upon us”.
Nicola Sturgeon's most outrageous quotes Mon, March 13, 2017
The nationalist chief always has plenty to say
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'Men – the colour of their tie is the most difficult decision they have to make every day'
The first minister wants a vote to be held in the autumn of next year or the spring of 2019.
The UK Government in Westminster has already signalled it would reject any move by Ms Sturgeon until after the country leaves the European Union.
Ms Sturgeon’s minority SNP government is asking the Scottish Parliament to back its plans to ask the Prime Minister for a second 30 order, which is needed to make a referendum legally binding.
The government is expected to win Wednesday’s vote with the support of the Scottish Greens – despite opposition from the Conservatives, Labour and Liberal Democrats.