Scottish independence: BBC ‘would leave’ Scotland

The BBC HQ at Pacific Quay. Picture: Robert Perry
The BBC HQ at Pacific Quay. Picture: Robert Perry
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A vote for an independent Scotland would be a vote to “leave” the BBC as well, Culture Secretary Maria Miller has warned.

The cabinet minister told the Oxford Media Convention: “The vote is about whether Scotland wants to remain as part of the UK. If they don’t want to do that, it’s a vote to leave the institutions of the UK and the BBC is one of them.”

Scotland’s First Minister Alex Salmond has previously said he would break up the BBC if Scotland votes for independence to provide the nation with its own public service broadcaster.

Speaking at the Edinburgh TV Festival in 2012, Mr Salmond said broadcasting had “not even adapted to devolution’’.

Outlining his party’s plans, he said: “We’d also establish a national public service broadcaster based on the existing staff and assets of BBC Scotland.”

Mr Salmond said there would be “continued access” for programme-makers from outside Scotland to supply content to the new broadcaster.

He said the most popular BBC shows would remain for viewers and joked that EastEnders would be safe in an independent Scotland.

Mr Salmond said the new broadcaster would take the share of the licence fee currently paid to the BBC by Scottish viewers, and any future level of the new licence fee would be up for “discussion”.

He compared the situation to the Republic of Ireland where the national broadcaster shows BBC shows including EastEnders as well as more nationally focused material.