Independence: what you need to know

Information about Scotland's future.


The Scottish Government’s policies for the culture sector in an independent Scotland at a glance: 

  • re-join the European Union (EU) which would allow creative professionals to move freely between Scotland and the EU
  • establish a new Scottish public service broadcaster
  • design visa and immigration routes that meet the needs of our creative sectors
  • provide greater support to promote our creative sectors at home and on the world stage

An independent Scotland’s culture sector 

Culture is a priceless asset to Scotland. Scotland’s creative sectors are strong, dynamic, and innovative, and are important to the economy.

Brexit has had a profound negative impact on our culture and creative sectors, taking away freedom of movement and making cultural collaboration difficult.

As our culture sector navigates the impact of Brexit alongside the aftermath of the COVID-19 pandemic and cost of living crises, it’s more important than ever that Scotland has full powers to support the sector.

An independent Scotland would have the full powers to further support Scotland’s creative industries in a range of ways, including through:

  • a visa and immigration system tailored for the needs of Scotland’s economy, including our creative industries
  • EU membership, which would provide unrestricted access to the EU market, freedom of movement and access to EU programmes which would provide an important source of funding and collaboration
  • promoting Scottish culture internationally through new embassies
  • full powers over tax, spending and borrowing, which mean an independent Scotland could provide tailored support to Scotland’s creative economy

European Union membership

Following a vote for independence, Scotland would apply to re-join the European Union (EU) as soon as possible.

Scotland would regain the benefits of EU membership, including being part of the world’s largest single market and the freedom of movement of people.

EU membership would:

  • make it easier for creative professionals and artists to move freely without barriers like visas and customs requirements
  • help Scotland’s culture sector reach the people, talent and skills it needs
  • make it easier and less expensive for Scottish artists to tour, collaborate and exchange ideas internationally
  • create more opportunities for collaboration with artists in other EU countries
  • make it easier for people and organisations to take part in international cultural events

Common Travel Area membership would also mean Scottish creative professionals also have an automatic right to travel and work across Great Britain and Ireland.

More information is available in the:


Public service broadcasting would be protected and enhanced with independence. This Scottish Government would establish a new Scottish public service broadcaster.

This would be developed in consultation with audiences and industry, to reflect the specific needs and interests of Scottish audiences and the creative industries.

Broadcasting would be regulated by a Scottish regulator, supported by a framework which reflects the priorities and values of Scotland.  

With independence, the Scottish Government would have the power to determine a list of events which should be available to broadcast free-to-air.

The Scottish Government’s position is that this should include Scotland’s men’s and women’s international football qualifiers. That way, audiences can enjoy these games without a fee or subscription.

The Scottish Government would engage with partners to explore continued access to programmes for Scottish audiences, as well as enhance Scotland’s voice on the world stage through global forums like Eurovision

Read more detail in: Building a New Scotland: culture in an independent Scotland.

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