Scotland's Independence debate lies in what it means to be Scottish

ITV News at Ten Presenter Julie Etchingham hears what it means to be Scottish

What is it to be Scottish - and how does that identity interlink with Britishness? Add in being European to that mix and the complexity of nationality intensifies.

Scotland's sense of itself is deeply bound up with the debate around Scottish independence.

A lot has changed since 2014, when Scotland voted against Independence by 55% to 45%.

If, as Nicola Sturgeon hopes, Thursday's Scottish Parliamentary elections results eventually lead to another referendum, there will be many asking how we got here.

Nicola Sturgeon hopes to, once again, be putting a Scottish independence referendum vote at Westminster's door. Credit: PA

The issue of identity will be central to that. Brexit, Boris Johnson, and Westminster's handling of the Covid pandemic compared to Hollyrood will all be a focus.

One of Scotland's most famous writers, Val McDermid, believes "Scots do feel a very strong sense of where they belong".

The art world's push towards independence is driven by a sense a UK government has little connection to Scotland, McDermid says.

"There will be difficulties along the way - but at least they will be difficulties we will be dealing with on our own terms," she says of Independence.

'We have a sense of being different'

In Perthshire, farmer Rob Doig sees a beauty in his complex identity.

"Show me a Scotsman who isn't a proud Scot - I think you'll find they're pretty thin on the ground.

"But I also identify much bigger than that - I identify quite definitely as British - and I'm quite pleased to feel European too."