Nicola Sturgeon declared she will reveal her independence referendum plans in a “matter of weeks” during a trip to London.
The First Minister was in the English capital to rally her troops as she put SNP MPs on a war footing for two referendums and a general election.
The party is escalating its demands for a second EU vote in the wake of the emphatic rejection of Theresa May’s Brexit deal on Wednesday.
Ms Sturgeon also said she will announce her Indyref2 plans within weeks, which suggests that update will be done well in advance of the Brexit due date on March 29.
The Scottish Conservatives accused the SNP leader of playing political games by using the Commons vote to “bang on about independence” and divert attention away from her feud with Alex Salmond.
Asked by Westminster journalists on Wednesday when she will deliver her promised update on Indyref2, Ms Sturgeon said: “I’ll say more about the timing of a referendum in the next matter of weeks.
“But I want to see the UK stay in the EU. I think that would be best for the whole of the UK.
“Even when Scotland is independent, that serves our interests best as well. That is why we’re backing the People’s Vote, the second EU referendum.
“But if that’s not possible, in terms of our wider interests, the chaos and the fiasco of the last couple of years have shown that the worst thing for Scotland is to be thirled to Westminster when it is making such a mess of things.
“We’d be far better off in charge of our own destiny.”
Earlier, Ms Sturgeon challenged the Prime Minister to chair “urgent” talks with the devolved governments in Scotland and Wales to resolve the Brexit impasse.
She called for a meeting of the Joint Ministerial Council (JMC) – which brings together the heads of the devolved administrations with the UK Government – to take place, insisting such talks “must be more than window dressing”.
Back in Scotland, the Greens piled pressure on their pro-independence partners in Holyrood to get Scotland out of the UK.
Patrick Harvie, the Scottish Greens’ co-convener, said: “Regardless of whether Brexit can be stopped or is ultimately forced upon us, the people of Scotland deserve the chance to reject the absurdities of Westminster where Scotland is clearly held in such contempt and instead chart a course to becoming an independent member of the EU.”
Pamela Nash, chief executive of Scotland in Union, said: “These comments prove that the SNP and the Greens only care about creating division, rather than working in the national interest.
“The last thing the country needs is more constitutional chaos.”
Maurice Golden, the Tories’ chief whip in Scotland, questioned Ms Sturgeon’s decision to head to Westminster at taxpayers’ expense to stoke up more constitutional uncertainty.
“Once again, we see Nicola Sturgeon playing her usual political games today,” the MSP said.
“Before people were even out of bed this morning, she was seeking to use last night’s vote to bang on about independence.
“Then she hot-footed it to Westminster, clearing calculating that grandstanding in Westminster might help distract people from her role in the Alex Salmond scandal.”
Ms Sturgeon is under pressure at home over her contact with Mr Salmond while he was under investigation by the Scottish Government for alleged sexual misconduct.
That investigation collapsed when the Scottish Government admitted breaking its own rules over the selection of the investigating officer, who had prior involvement with the two complainants.
Four inquiries, including those by the Scottish Parliament and a ministerial code panel, are to be held into the saga.
That does not include the ongoing police investigation into the allegations, which Mr Salmond denies.
The SNP leader refused to say whether she still counted Mr Salmond as a friend during a Sky News interview, in a sign of the growing rift between the mentor and his protege.
Denying her job is on the line, she said: “My job as first minister is to do everything I can to protect the best interests of Scotland.”