The First Minister’s comments came as the Scottish Government is due to publish a paper on its plans for the economy and currency of an independent Scotland tomorrow.
The paper will be the third release in the Building a New Scotland series, which aims to set out a refreshed prospectus for Scottish independence.
It is expected to provide detail on moving toward a “fairer, greener independent economy to help people live happy, healthy, fulfilling lives”.
To do so, the paper will set out proposals including rejoining the European Union for access to the Single Market, a redesigned energy market that will provide “secure and reliable” low-cost energy, and greater workplace security with an end to “age discrimination in minimum wage setting”.
It will also outline a migration policy which is designed to boost the country’s working population.
Topics such as currency and fiscal policy, border arrangements and the proposed Building a New Scotland Fund – which aims to deliver investment of £20 billion in the first decade of independence – will also feature in the document.
The First Minister said the debate on independence is not about “change versus status quo”, adding: “There is no status quo, and Scotland cannot afford to live under Westminster control any longer.”
She said: “In 2014 we were promised stability if we voted no to independence. Instead, we got austerity and Brexit, and are now being taken on a libertarian joy-ride.
“These are not abstract issues – they are doing real damage to our economy, public services, mortgage costs and pensions.”
Ms Sturgeon continued: “(Monday’s) economic prospectus will outline how resource-rich Scotland can match that success with the powers of independence – moving from a stagnating, high-inequality, Brexit-based Westminster economic model and build a modern, dynamic and sustainable economy to help people live happy, healthy, fulfilling lives.
“We can use powers over electricity market design to ensure security of supply and help tackle the climate emergency.
“We can build a European-style labour market policy which values and invests in workers.
“And by rejoining the EU, we will not only be able to travel freely across both the UK and the 27 member states, but it will be easier to attract EU workers to support sectors so badly damaged by Brexit.”
The people of Scotland “deserve a grown-up, honest discussion about their future”, the First Minister said.
“I will never pretend that everything about independence is easy, but the potential prize open to us means it is more than worth it – for us and for future generations.
“We must never forget that we already have many of the key institutions that an independent country needs, and coupled with our strong economic foundations and immense potential, probably no country in history has been better-prepared to become independent than Scotland will be.”