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Published On: Sun, Aug 6th, 2017 at 9:27pm

Culture Secretary calls for freedom of movement

EU fundamental to continued development of creative sector.

The Culture Secretary Fiona Hyslop said earlier that it is crucial that freedom of movement within the EU is retained to ensure Scotland’s culture sector.

Ms Hyslop, whose cabinet responsibilities include culture and external affairs, used a speech at Lorient Interceltic Festival 2017 in France, where Scotland is the ‘country of honour’ with a sold-out programme, to highlight the important contributions from the EU in developing the Scottish cultural sector.

Ms Hyslop said: “European cultural collaboration is central to Scotland’s open international cultural outlook and EU membership is a very important modern dimensi‎on to this.

“6.1% of the creative industries’ workforce is made up of non-UK EU nationals. Artists from around the EU work in Scotland, join our performing companies and can travel freely to experience our unique culture and world leading festivals. Unfortunately, it is perfectly conceivable that the UK Government is threatening this through a hard Brexit that destroys freedom of movement.

“Scotland’s cultural and creative companies should be able to recruit the talent and skills they need from as wide a pool as possible.”

The government says that the Scottish culture sector received at least £59 million in funding from the EU over 2007-16, supporting around 650 projects. This provides finance for the sector and the EU’s funding programmes support cultural collaboration and professional development.  The government claims all of this can only be fully achieved as a result of freedom of movement.

Lisa Whytock, Director Active Events and Programme Manager for delivering Scotland at Lorient said: “Showcase Scotland Expo is all about promoting and enhancing the careers of Scottish based musicians, we know that for our country to continue to be home to leading artists and musicians, then they need to perform overseas.

“Equally collaborations between artists and festivals such as the one on the scale we are seeing at Lorient are so important and enable audiences to enjoy astounding and unique concerts that are exceptional.

“Brexit threatens freedom of movement, and that to us threatens the movement of artists and Scotland’s ability to continue being the home of world class professional musicians. It is a very real concern.”

Lisardo Lombardia, Director of Festival Interceltique de Lorient said “When the festival was born in 1971, Europe was only a project in construction. This festival has made a choice: to build bridges and not walls. The festival has always welcomed Scotland and it has been one of the festival’s most faithful supporters. The free circulation of culture and ideas, particularly for artists and works of art, has helped Scotland develop its strong reputation in arts, music and creativity and become a major country for European culture.  We want that to continue in the future.

“Despite the anxiety caused by Brexit, we will continue to support the free circulation of cultures and ideas, in particular for artists and works of art. This is what has helped Scotland develop such a strong reputation in arts, music and creativity. It has helped Scotland to become a major country for European culture.”

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About the Author

- Founding Editor of The Edinburgh Reporter. Edinburgh-born multimedia journalist, and always available for freelance work. A keen iPhoneographer!

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