French connections

March 19, 2018 by No Comments | Category Brexit, Culture, International

Culture and External Affairs Secretary Fiona Hyslop visited Paris last week to celebrate Scotland’s cultural, economic and political ties with France and highlight the strong contribution French artists and companies will make to the 2018 Edinburgh International Festival.

Speaking at the EIF launch at theatre Bouffes du Nord in Paris, Ms Hyslop said:

“Thanks to these exciting collaborations with some of the finest French artists, the 2018 Edinburgh International Festival will ensure Scotland maintains its reputation as the world-leading festivals capital.

“I am pleased the Scottish Government has supported the Festival through £190,000 Expo funding in 2018, enabling it to reach the widest possible audiences and contributing to the cultural and social life of Edinburgh and Scotland.

The visit was also an occasion to strengthen Scotland’s strong social, cultural and economic ties with France, as underpinned by the Scottish Government’s commitment to open a new Innovation and Investment Hub in Paris later this year.

Ms Hyslop also undertook wider cultural engagements, including meetings with UNESCO representatives and the Director of the British Council in France, Bob Lewis, to promote Scotland’s world-leading reputation as a centre of culture.

In addition, the Cabinet Secretary met with the French Government’s Minister for Europe Nathalie Loiseau to discuss Scotland’s on Brexit, opportunities for collaboration between Scotland and France and shared international interests.

Ms Hyslop said:

“Despite the threat posed by Brexit, we are committed to reassuring our partners that Scotland is an open and forward-looking nation – one which invests in cultural collaborations and is keen to boost its trade and investment links internationally.

“As set out in our recently published paper, all the scenarios point to Brexit having a damaging impact on Scotland’s economy and wider wellbeing. Nevertheless, short of maintaining full EU membership, we must stay in the Single Market and Customs Union.

“The Scottish Government will do all we can to protect trade and investment links with Europe and to provide the certainty that businesses want – which is why I would also encourage the UK and the EU to ensure that a transition deal is agreed at next week’s meeting of the European Council.”

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