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What will happen to the BBC following independence?

The current Scottish Government proposes that BBC Scotland will become the foundation for the establishment of a publiclyfunded, public service broadcaster – the Scottish Broadcasting Service (SBS). The existing BBC charter expires on 31 December 2016, and the SBS will begin broadcasting on TV, radio and online on 1 January 2017.

The SBS would replace the BBC in Scotland in joint ventures, including those related to Freeview and Freesat. The SBS would also take on the BBC’s role in the operation of relevant digital terrestrial television multiplexes in Scotland.

The SBS would also inherit a proportionate share of the BBC’s commercial ventures, including BBC Worldwide Ltd, and their associated ongoing profits.

Source: Scotland's Future, Scottish Government, November 2013.

Would the Scottish Broadcasting Service work with the BBC?

In addition to its own TV, radio, and online services, the SBS would seek to co-operate, co-produce and co-commission with the remaining BBC network where appropriate. Currently, BBC Scotland delivers a range of programming for the BBC network: the BBC aims for 8.6 per cent of its eligible original programming to come from BBC Scotland. We propose that the SBS enter into a new formal relationship with the BBC as a joint venture, where the SBS would continue to supply the BBC network with the same level of original programming, in return for ongoing access to BBC services in Scotland.

The new joint venture relationship with the BBC would allow the SBS to continue to have the right to opt out of BBC 1 and BBC 2, as BBC Scotland can currently. The maintenance of access to the BBC will ensure that the people of Scotland will still have access to current programming such as EastEnders, Doctor Who, and Strictly Come Dancing, and to channels like CBeebies.

Source: Scotland's Future, Scottish Government, November 2013.

Will I still get access to BBC channels following independence?

Yes. Under our proposals, a joint venture agreement between the SBS and the BBC would see all current BBC services available in Scotland continue, in addition to the TV, radio and online services provided by the SBS.

If it became clear in future that Westminster did not share our commitment to publicly-funded public service broadcasting, the Scottish Government would establish a contractual arrangement with BBC Worldwide Ltd to secure continued availability of BBC services in Scotland.

BBC channels that are available in the UK currently are also already available through different live transmission agreements in the Republic of Ireland, the Netherlands, and Switzerland.

Source: Scotland's Future, Scottish Government, November 2013.

Can Scotland afford a quality publicly-financed public service broadcaster after independence?

Would advertising be necessary as in Ireland? £320 million is raised annually in Scotland from licence fees alone, but, following the implementation of the BBC’s ‘Delivering Quality First’ initiative, the level of spend by the BBC in Scotland could be as low as £175 million in 2016/17. As a comparison the total annual cost of Ireland’s RTÉ is around £286 million.

In addition to the £320 million raised in licence fees in Scotland, around £12 million per year is made available by the Scottish Government for Gaelic broadcasting, and the Scottish proportionate share of profits of ongoing BBC commercial ventures is around £13 million to £19 million – approximately £345 million per year in total.

On this basis, SBS would be in a position to provide a high-quality publicly-funded public service broadcaster within the resources available, without seeking revenue from advertising.

Source: Scotland's Future, Scottish Government, November 2013.

Would the TV licence fee have to rise in an independent Scotland?

No. The existing licence fee would be inherited on independence and is sufficient to allow a high-quality SBS service on TV, radio and online.

In future, the funding of the SBS will be determined by the government of an independent Scotland in negotiation with the broadcaster.

Source: Scotland's Future, Scottish Government, November 2013.

What would happen to STV in an independent Scotland?

STV’s licence has been extended to 2025, and the current Scottish Government has been clear that existing licences will be honoured at the point of independence. Viewers in the south of Scotland will continue to be served by ITV’s Borders franchise, but as part of the conditions of the renewal of that licence, ITV will now be obliged to transmit different programming to the south of Scotland and the north of England so that viewers in the south of Scotland have the same access to news and current affairs coverage about Scotland as the rest of Scotland.

These arrangements will ensure that Scottish audiences can continue to access programming such as Coronation Street and X-Factor.

Source: Scotland's Future, Scottish Government, November 2013.

What would happen to Channel 4 in an independent Scotland?

At the point of independence, it is expected that Channel 4’s licence will have been extended to the end of 2024, and the established licence will be honoured. The current Scottish Government proposes to establish ownership arrangements of this public corporation which ensure that a Scottish population share of Channel 4 network original productions, by hours and by value, comes from Scotland.

Source: Scotland's Future, Scottish Government, November 2013.

What would happen to Channel 5 in an independent Scotland?

By the time Scotland becomes independent in March 2016, Channel 5’s licence will have been extended to 2025. The Scottish Government intends that following independence the existing licence will be honoured.

Source: Scotland's Future, Scottish Government, November 2013.

What would happen to BSkyB and other private sector cable and satellite broadcasters in an independent Scotland?

Our intention is that existing licences will be honoured until expiry. Because of the nature of satellite technology, broadcasting over that platform will remain identical in Scotland to that in the rest of the UK, just as is the case today across the UK and Ireland.

Source: Scotland's Future, Scottish Government, November 2013.

What would happen to Gaelic broadcasting in an independent Scotland?

The Scottish Government is committed to the continuation of the BBC Alba channel and Radio nan Gáidheal, under the auspices of the Scottish Broadcasting Service.

Source: Scotland's Future, Scottish Government, November 2013.

What would happen to radio in an independent Scotland?

Our intention is that existing licences for radio stations would be honoured until expiry.

Source: Scotland's Future, Scottish Government, November 2013.

Would the Scottish Broadcasting Service participate in charity fundraising drives such as Comic Relief and Children in Need?

Yes. The SBS will seek to co-operate with the BBC and the relevant charities to continue to involve the people of Scotland in these, and similar, established telethons.

Source: Scotland's Future, Scottish Government, November 2013.

Would the Scottish Broadcasting Service join the European Broadcasting Union (EBU)?

Yes. The SBS would seek membership of the EBU and would be an active and constructive partner in the organisation. As part of this participation, we would envisage the SBS engaging with some of the EBU competitions, including Scottish entries in the Eurovision Song Contest.

Source: Scotland's Future, Scottish Government, November 2013.

What will happen to cultural items related to Scotland and held in UK national collections in an independent Scotland?

Scotland currently owns a share of all UK national collections. The national museums and galleries in both London and Scotland all hold items from different parts of the UK and collections assembled from across the world. They have longestablished arrangements for loans, exchanges and partnerships, which will be able to continue when Scotland becomes independent.

Source: Scotland's Future, Scottish Government, November 2013.

What will happen to Historic Scotland in an independent Scotland?

The Scottish Government intends that, following independence, Historic Scotland, or its successor body, will continue to provide the skills, services and visitor operations that it does at present. The merger between Historic Scotland and the Royal Commission on the Ancient and Historical Monuments of Scotland is intended to ensure the sustainability of the functions of both organisations.

Source: Scotland's Future, Scottish Government, November 2013.

Will the historic environment be managed differently in an independent Scotland?

Management of the historic environment is already within the control of the Scottish Parliament.

Source: Scotland's Future, Scottish Government, November 2013.

What will happen to World Heritage Sites in an independent Scotland?

World Heritage Sites are recognised by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO) as places of internationally significant cultural or natural heritage. There are currently five World Heritage Sites in Scotland – the Antonine Wall, Heart of Neolithic Orkney, New Lanark, the Old and New Towns of Edinburgh, and St Kilda, with a nomination for the Forth Bridge currently being developed. Their status will not change as a result of independence.

Future Scottish governments will continue to be able to nominate Scottish sites for world heritage status in an independent Scotland, and Historic Scotland, or its successor body, will continue to monitor the management of existing sites.

Source: Scotland's Future, Scottish Government, November 2013.

Will tax incentives for cultural donations continue in an independent Scotland?

The tax system in place immediately before independence will be inherited at that time. After that, decisions on the tax system and all specific taxes – including tax rates, allowances and credits – will be made by the parliament and government of an independent Scotland.

Source: Scotland's Future, Scottish Government, November 2013.

What will happen to grants awarded under the Department of Culture, Media and Sport’s Listed Places of Worship Scheme in an independent Scotland?

The Listed Places of Worship Scheme, which is administered by the Department of Culture, Media and Sport, provides grants in respect of VAT costs incurred for eligible repairs, maintenance and alterations to places of worship across the UK. The current Scottish Government proposes that a similar scheme should operate in an independent Scotland, and will consider extending the scheme to benefit the repair and maintenance of all listed buildings.

Source: Scotland's Future, Scottish Government, November 2013.

Will an independent Scotland honour existing international treaties, agreements and conventions around culture and heritage?

Yes. The Scottish Government is committed to ensuring that, as an independent nation, Scotland will continue to meet all legal obligations that flow from its membership of international organisations and that it will continue with treaty rights and obligations. Where the UK has not signed or ratified international treaties, there will be opportunities to explore whether an independent Scotland would ratify these. The current Scottish Government is in favour, for example, of ratifying the UNESCO Convention for the Safeguarding of Intangible Cultural Heritage, as Scotland’s songs, dance and stories are as important as our castles, palaces and monuments.

Source: Scotland's Future, Scottish Government, November 2013.

What role will culture and heritage play in an independent Scotland?

Culture and heritage will continue to be valued in and of itself as the heart, soul and essence of a flourishing Scotland, as well as for the wider social and economic benefits that it brings to individuals, communities and the nation.

An independent Scotland will continue to nurture and promote our culture and heritage sector, so that it can inspire and enrich lives both here and internationally.

Source: Scotland's Future, Scottish Government, November 2013.

Will we have the power to reduce VAT on repair and maintenance work to dwellings in an independent Scotland?

Independence will enable the Scottish Parliament to explore a reduction in VAT on repairs and maintenance work to homes as part of wider taxation priorities.

Powers over VAT, currently exercised by the Westminster Government, will transfer to the Scottish Parliament as a result of independence. The tax system in place immediately before independence will be inherited at that time. Thereafter decisions on the tax system and all specific taxes – including tax rates, allowances and credits for VAT and other taxes – will be made by the parliament and government of an independent Scotland.

Source: Scotland's Future, Scottish Government, November 2013.

Will we need to give up specific Scottish cultural and heritage archival documents or acquire them from the UK National Archives?

Archives across the world hold all sorts of material relating to other countries. Cross-UK advisory bodies on archives – such as the National Archives – have in practice only a limited role in Scottish terms.

Source: Scotland's Future, Scottish Government, November 2013.