Our proposals for a Scotland which establishes itself in the world by developing positive relations and making itself a welcoming country.
An artist With EU Roots explains how Scotland can get it’s international identity #Sorted.
Listen to Antoine describe how things have changed for those who want to come to Scotland to work and live and how being an artist in Scotland has changed for the better. Common Weal has created a fictional character to explain how Scotland could have a better international policy in an independent Scotland, one that is accountable and ambitious. While we also felt this was an opportunity to show how the cultural industry might grow and thrive as a result.
Unfortunately unlike Antoine’s account, the Foreign Policy which Scotland is subject to, is currently beyond our choice. But with change comes an enormous opportunity to develop a different personality, to take a different stance, to be a different kind of friend to the world.
We have plenty more to say on these subjects as part of our #SORTED campaign. For a text version of Antoine’s story scroll to the bottom of this page.
Some world related REports
The question of a Scottish defence strategy must start with “what are we defending and from what?”. An independent Scotland could not and should not replicate a “mini-UK” strategy of post-Imperial sabre-rattling but should instead develop a strategy based on a non-aligned, regional approach with particular focuses on coastal defence, organised crime, climate damage and other risks to Scotland that are much higher than the threat of territorial invasion from a foreign nation.
The Scottish Government should continue and amplify its campaign for a distinct Scottish immigration system similar to the models of Quebec or other sub-state governments who have such powers. Scotland should also (whether within devolution or post-independence) work to build a humane and fair approach to immigration based on universal and international rights. In particular, workers who are seeking asylum should be enabled to work and participate in society with the same rights and privileges as others while they are waiting for their status to be resolved.
An independent Scotland will need a codified, written Constitution. This paper by internationally renowned Constitutional scholar Elliot Bulmer lays down the theoretical framework and the purpose of a Constitution, how Scotland should democratically decide what goes into Scotland’s own version post-independence. The paper also includes a complete sample Constitution drawn from international examples of other countries – including many who have themselves become independent from the UK.
The primary definition of a country lies in how it defines “within” from “outwith”. An independent Scotland will need to determine its borders and customs policies and should do so in a way that learns from and does not replicate the failures of the UK’s own approach to borders, particularly its failure to properly manage customs and excise.
The world’s first, comprehensive, fully-budgeted, national-scale Green New Deal, the Common Home Plan is tailored to Scotland’s unique and specific place in the world but nevertheless offers lessons for other countries as we all embark on the transitions we need to make to avert and mitigate against the climate emergency.
Hi! I’m Antoine, and I’m a Performer and aspiring producer for theatre.
I’m originally from Leon in France but now I live in Perth. I first came here for the Edinburgh Fringe Festival . I really enjoyed Scotland and I said I want to make this my home.
As an artist, I spend my time writing, rehearsing and promoting the theatre shows I’m working on. A big part of my role is travelling and inviting interesting people from around the world to collaborate. In the past I experienced a lot of difficulty with my own Visa restrictions and trying to bring international artists to work here in Scotland created border issues every single time.
But I have to say things are more stable now. People in my profession say that there is more certainty. It’s now easy to get information you can actually understand on how to get both temporary or permanent citizenship. Visitors coming to work for a few weeks can breeze in these days.
And when it comes to work, the creative scenes exist everywhere but during the 2020’s I was only finding work in Glasgow, Edinburgh or Dundee that was largely where the funding was.
But slowly the cultural landscape is changing; there are Regional Arts Departments everywhere. This year in Perth, we are gearing up to a very large festival with National funding and there is a real buzz in the town as we head towards summer.
I have never lived in a place that has a National Arts Council which offers an Artists Basic Income. That’s something which has helped me immensely since it was introduced.
What I am enjoying now is feeling like I can take time to work on sustainable projects which really build partnerships with the world and I can see the audiences for these growing. I believe everyone should be able to contribute to Scottish Culture, Scotland doesn’t have to try to be the number one world player, it just has to take what it already does well and do it better. And by doing that it will become a better neighbour to other countries as well.