Creatives in Scotland back Remain

A wide coalition of artists, authors, musicians and actors working in Scotland have backed a Remain vote in next week’s referendum. In a statement, over 80 people working in creative industries in Scotland said:

We the undersigned support a Remain vote at the European Referendum on 23 June.

"Scotland benefits greatly from its membership of the EU, in terms of jobs and security, legal protection for workers, and the opportunity to work closely with our neighbours.

"The EU isn't perfect, but for the creative sector many projects and collaborations in the arts would not have been possible without EU funding, without ease of travel, or without strong networks of collaboration.

"The artistic and cultural future of Scotland will be stronger and more successful because of the opportunities to continue to work, travel and create within the EU.

Game of Thrones actors Kate Dickie and Daniel Portman, as well as Harry Potter star Katie Leung, join other actors including Colin McCredie, Martin Compston, Ewen Bremner and Libby McArthur in backing Remain.

Grammy and Golden Globe winning composer Craig Armstrong, Mogwai’s Stuart Braithwaite and Barry Burns, The Proclaimers, Donnie Munro, Emma Pollock, James Grant and RM Hubbert are amongst the musicians backing Remain.

Authors Val McDermid, Christopher Brookmyre, Jenny Colgan and Louise Welsh are some of the writers supporting the open letter, as well as Scotland’s National Poet, the Makar, Jackie Kay, and children’s author Lari Don and Scots language expert Matthew Fitt.

Alison Watt, Sandy Moffat, Rachel Maclean and Graham Fagan are amongst the artists who want to stay in the EU, along with Richard Holloway, Mark Cousins and Pat Kane.

Award winning author Val McDermid said: “Writers love to communicate with as wide an audience as possible. Being part of the EU makes that process much easier and more fruitful. And in a complicated digital world, our membership of the EU means we can protect our rights and our revenues much more readily.

“We Scots have a long history of sharing our creativity with our neighbours and developing strong links with European institutions, going back to the Middle Ages.

"Our culture has become richer, wider and deeper as a result. We've all benefited from that, and I don't want us to start looking inwards instead of outwards.”

Game of Thrones actor Daniel Portman said:

“Leaving the EU would be like stepping in a time machine and going backwards, it would undo so much of the work to establish peace that has been done in Europe.

"Brexit would give a boost to the far-Right's politics of intolerance, while Remain is all about building a people's Europe.”

Crime thriller writer Mason Cross added:

“I'm for staying in because it's vital to work together across borders instead of putting up more barriers. The UK is culturally richer for being in Europe, and vice versa.”

Creatives in Scotland supporting Remain:

Sam Ainsley, visual artist. Davey Anderson, playwright. Craig Armstrong, composer. Karen Bartke, actor. Ross Birrell, artist and lecturer. Stuart Braithwaite, Mogwai. Christopher Brookmyre, author. Barry Burns, Mogwai. Gerard M Burns, artist. Ewen Bremner, actor. Karen Campbell, author. Jenny Colgan, author. Martin Compston, actor. Will Conway, conductor and cellist. Mark Cousins, director and writer. Mason Cross, author. Mike Cullen, writer for film and television. Christine De Luca, poet. Kate Dickie, actor. Lari Don, author. Graham Fagen, artist. Matthew Fitt, writer. David Fleck, illustrator. Andrew Fleming-Brown, SWG3 Director. Robert S. Gale, actor and director. David Gillanders, photographer. Janey Godley, comedian. James Grant, musician. Ronnie Gurr, Burnsong / European Folk Network. Stewart Henderson, Chemikal Underground Records. David Harding, artist. Dr Stuart Hepburn, writer and actor. Richard Holloway, author and former Chair - Scottish Arts Council, current Chair - Sistema Scotland. RM Hubbert, musician. Kirstin Innes, writer. Pat Kane, Director, The Play Ethic. Jackie Kay, Scotland’s Makar, National Poet for Scotland. Fiona Knowles, actor and co-founder, MsFits Theatre Co. Sanjeev Kohli, comedian, actor and writer. Mark Leggatt, author. Emma Lennox, Writer. Katie Leung, actor. Elaine Livingstone, photographer. Neil MacKay, novelist and Sunday Herald editor. Rachel Maclean, visual artist. Libby McArthur, actor. Helen McClory, author. Mary McCluskey, Artistic Director, Scottish Youth Theatre. Alan McCredie, photographer and author. Colin McCredie, actor. Roy McEwan OBE, music executive. Colin MacIntyre, author and musician. Joyce McMillan, theatre Critic and Columnist. Pete Martin, Creative Director, The Gate Worldwide. Mitch Miller, graphic artist. Sandy Moffat, artist. Mick Morton, producer and director. Donnie Munro, musician and Sabhal Mòr Ostaig Director of Development, Fundraising and the Arts. Wendy Niblock, arts publicist. Morna Pearson, playwright. Emma Pollock, musician. Daniel Portman, actor. Charlie Reid, The Proclaimers. Craig Reid, The Proclaimers. Alan Riach, Poet and Professor of Scottish Literature, Glasgow University. Adrian Searle, Publisher, Freight Books. David Scott, The Pearlfishers. Maggie Singleton, dance and arts development expert. Damian Shields, photographer. Donald Smith, Director, Tracs, Traditional Arts and Culture Scotland. Gerda Stevenson, actor, musician and writer. Allan Tall, musician. Woodstock Taylor, musician. Colin Templeton, photographer. Eleanor Thom, comedy writer, actor and producer. May Miles Thomas, director and writer. The Treacherous Orchestra, musicians. Jean Urquhart, founder, The Ceilidh Place. Ryan Van Winkle, poet. Alison Watt, artist. Louise Welsh, author. James Yorkston, musician and author. Val McDermid, author.


A number of the EU’s funding programmes can be accessed by Scottish cultural organisations. There are many avenues through which cultural work can be funded by the EU, but the principle programme aimed at cultural and creative organisations is Creative Europe.

Since that programme was launched in January 2014, eight projects involving Scottish organisations have received funding through the Culture Sub-programme and nine through the MEDIA Sub-programme.

The total value of Creative Europe grants awarded to projects involving Scottish partners to date is just over €6,200,000 (£4,719,339).

In Spring 2015, the most recent round of announcements of successful applicants under the Cooperation Projects stream of the Culture Sub-programme, five projects involved Scottish organisations.

This represents 11% of all projects involving UK partners and around one third of all projects across the EU involve UK partners.


EU membership impacts on Scotland’s creative industries, by facilitating access to a market of 500 million people by Scottish businesses. The development of the EU’s Digital Single Market proposals will create new channels for Scotland’s creative industries to reach new markets.

The European Commission estimates that a fully functioning single market for digital goods and services could add up to €415 billion to the EU’s GDP.

Freedom of Movement

Freedom of movement for workers in the EU allows Scottish artists to take their work to EU audiences without the need for visas. It also allows artists from other parts of the EU to more easily bring their work to Scotland.