The Scottish Government confirms that any form of Brexit will cause serious damage to Scotland and that the UK leaving the single market and customs union would be damaging to Scotland. We agree that ending free movement of people will have a negative impact on individuals, families and our economy and society as a whole.
We strongly advocate that Scotland is, and continues to be, an outward-looking, welcoming nation, which is underpinned by our world class international festivals. Freedom of movement within the EU enriches Scotland’s culture. It is important that artists from around the EU are able to bring their work to Scotland and EU citizens can travel freely to Scotland to experience our unique culture and world leading festivals. Scotland’s cultural and creative industries companies are able to recruit the talent and skills that they need from as wide a pool as possible.
We know that the UK’s current visa system already puts in place significant cost and administrative barriers to non-EU artists bringing their work to the festivals. Expanding those barriers to artists from the rest of the EU could have a devastating impact, on both the economic and the cultural impact of the festivals.
The Scottish Government agrees that EU funding programmes are hugely beneficial to the culture, creative industries and historic environment sectors in Scotland. Between 2007 and 2016, EU funds have directly supported these sectors with at least £59 million of funding, involving around 650 projects. Additionally, EU funding can have a multiplier effect by leveraging funding from other sources. Moreover, the non-financial benefits of participation in these funding streams is immeasurably significant, supporting the international exchange and collaboration which is the lifeblood of the culture sector, as well as central to supporting Scotland’s global reputation for cultural excellence.