Scottish independence: Alex Salmond to fast-track Scotland Eurovision entry if Yes wins

Yes campaigners have suggested past winner Lulu as their first entrant

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The Independent Culture

Alex Salmond plans to fast-track Scotland’s entry into the Eurovision Song Contest if the Yes campaign wins.

Eurovision organisers have given the green light for Scotland to emerge as an independent rival to the United Kingdom in the competition.

In order to join, the new Scottish Broadcasting Service (SBS), which the SNP has pledged to create after a Yes vote, would apply to join the European Broadcasting Union (EBU). The new broadcaster would be funded by the Scottish share of BBC licence fee income.

A Scottish government white paper setting out its plans for independence says: “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.”

Yes campaigners have speculated that Lulu, the Scottish singer who won Eurovision for the UK in 1969 with "Boom Bang-a-Bang", could return to perform the nation’s first entry.

Video: Salmond on Westminster leaders visiting Scotland

However pro-union singers who prefer the current Eurovision arrangement would be free to cross the border and perform for the United Kingdom.

A Eurovision spokesman said: “An independent Scotland will be free to apply to join the 46 nations which currently take part in Eurovision. Many new nations have joined over the past years. First they have to apply to join the European Broadcasting Union which stages the event.”

An independent Scotland would have to pay an application fee in order to join the EBU. In the first year this could be three times the annual fee. Some in Scotland might question whether this is a useful allocation of resources for the fledgling independent nation.

Potential Scottish Eurovision entrants include Susan Boyle, Emeli Sande and Calvin Harris. If Scotland proved a success with Eurovision voters, it could undermine the diminished UK’s case to remain as one of the six competing nations which are guaranteed a place in the grand final. The United Kingdom finished 17th last year with contender Molly, continuing a run of poor results.

Scotland can join the EBU without becoming a member of the EU first.

 

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