BBC to join flight to Europe

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BBC Studios: EU Bound

By Russell Bruce

BBC shocks stunned Blighty as it looks for a base in Belgium. There is no corner of economic activity and output whether physical product, service industry or programming that will not be adversely affected by the UK leaving the European Union.

All the things that were not written on the side of a bus are overwriting that lie about NHS funding. BBC international channels require EU licences to broadcast in Europe if the UK leaves without a deal or at the end of any transition period should May’s deal pass on Tuesday.

Setting up a European base and moving staff, or recruiting locally, might not be the end of the BBC’s need to build a strong European presence. The digital single market is coming as the next stage in further strengthening the Single Market. It would be an important development for the growing number of digital industries in Scotland, only May is determined to leave the Single Market because of her anti-immigration stance.

Mrs May seems more than willing to accept the economic damage to England by the ever present hostile environment. Scotland sees this differently which is why First Minister Nicola Sturgeon is demanding control over immigration and for Scotland, if not UK, to remain in the single market.

A more European look to the BBC would not be a bad thing as far as Scotland is concerned. We will hold back judgement until there is evidence the anglo centric dark shadow blanketing BBC Scotland’s output starts to fade.

Like everything else connected to the Brexit shambles of unrealised and unthought of consequences, the implications go far beyond the BBC. The Guardian reports that more than 500 pan-European channels use Ofcom licences, forming a major broadcasting hub worth £1bn a year to the UK economy. With Britain outside the Single Market these licences become invalid.

BBC Studios combines production output with a host of channels: BBC Earth, BBC First, BBC Brit, BBC Entertainment, BBC Knowledge, BBC Lifestyle, BBC HD, BBC Living, BBC Kids and many more in collaboration with ITV and others such as UKTV.

The BBC maintains that staff numbers moved to the EU would be ‘limited in number’. One of those clever phrases that implies less than the reality of the requirement for the relocation of the BBC Studios HQ or the transfer of a majority of the workforce.

Airbus: Preparing to take off for Europe?

Yesterday Airbus aired its concerns in no uncertain terms. Complex industrial plants do not move overnight but they plan for withdrawal over time if their free access to markets becomes restricted. Airbus is a pan European project and one of the world’s largest aerospace companies. Newsnet covered the threat to Scotland of Airbus pulling out in a detailed analysis 7 months ago. The urgent assurances they sought then are still awaited as the days tick away.

Spirit AeroSystems is a US company with two European production units – Scotland and France. Spirit’s expertise is in the building of aircraft structures. Airbus wing structures are made at Prestwick and shipped to Wales for all the internal parts to be installed prior to shipping to Toulouse for final assembly.

Media coverage on Airbus concerns never identifies the threat to Scotland because Spirit is a specialist contractor. Newsnet, will always try to dig deeper in our analysis of stories. Please use the subscribe button to donate.