Scotland's devolved government is preparing to present legislation allowing a second independence referendum while continuing discussions on its place within the European Union, First Minister Nicola Sturgeon said on Saturday.

"A second (Scottish) independence referendum is clearly an option that requires to be on the table, and it is very much on the table," she said in a live statement.

"To ensure that that option is a deliverable one in the required timetable, steps will be taken now to ensure that the necessary legislation is in place," she added.

Scotland voted 62 to 38 percent to remain in the EU in a referendum on Thursday, sharply contrasting with Britain's overall 52-48 percent vote to leave. That result could be justification for another independence vote, the Scottish government argues.

Scottish independence from the United Kingdom was rejected by 55-45 percent in 2014.