Page last updated at 10:57 GMT, Tuesday, 16 October 2012 11:57 UK

Questions raised over impact of Scottish independence on BBC

The Labour MP for Glasgow Central, Anas Sarwar, has said Scottish viewers and listeners to the BBC could suffer if Scotland votes in favour of independence.

Leading a Westminster Hall debate on 16 October 2012, Mr Sarwar, who is also deputy leader of the Scottish Labour Party, accused Alex Salmond of wanting to break up the corporation.

Scotland's SNP first minister has said that in the event of a Yes vote, there should be a new Scottish broadcasting corporation, paid for by the Scottish licence fee.

However Mr Sarwar said that Mr Salmond's claims that viewers would still be able to access a range of popular BBC programmes and services were a sign he was living in a "fantasy world".

Mr Sarwar said that funding of public service broadcasting would be hit if Scotland became independent.

Culture Minister Ed Vaizey agreed, arguing that the UK as a whole benefitted from pooling the licence fee.

Rules on broadcasting are currently a reserved matter to Westminster, although the funding of Scottish Gaelic television is controlled by the Scottish government.

A referendum on whether Scotland should become an independent country is likely to take place in the autumn of 2014, following the agreement between the Westminster and Holyrood governments.


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