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European Union: British cities can't compete as 2023 Capital of Culture host

26 November 2017

"We will do our utmost to persuade the UK Government of the importance of continuing to participate in European partnerships like the European Capital of Culture and in that vein I would urge you to reconsider this decision".

She has also written to Martine Reicherts, director general for education, youth sport and culture at the European Commission, urging her to reconsider the decision not to allow Dundee to participate.

Brussels has blocked British cities from competing to be the European capital of culture - leaving councils preparing bids potentially millions of pounds out of pocket.

A spokeswoman for the European Commission Office in Scotland told BBC News: "As one of the many concrete consequences of its decision to leave the European Union by 29 March 2019, the United Kingdom can not host the European Capital of Culture in 2023".

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The city was among five in the United Kingdom bidding to host the title, with the victor expected to be announced next week.

The European Commission made a "bombshell" announcement on Thursday banning United Kingdom cities from competing in the European Capital of Culture 2023 competition because of Brexit.

"Other countries who are not of the EU have taken part in the past but they have been part of the European economic area or the European Free Trade Association".

The capital of culture designation is an European Union project but cities in non-member states such as Norway, Iceland and Turkey have held the title, and Novi Sad, in aspirant member Serbia, has been awarded the accolade for 2021.

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"Given that the United Kingdom will have left the EU by 29 March 2019, and therefore be unable to host the European Capital of Culture in 2023, we believe it makes common sense to discontinue the selection process now".

"As is usual with cultural programmes and competitions, the United Kingdom government bears no responsibility for the financial investment made by the cities and councils", the department said.

A DCMS spokeswoman said: "The Prime Minister has been clear that while we are leaving the European Union, we are not leaving Europe and this has been welcomed by European Union leaders". Liverpool was the last British city to be...

Explaining its decision to rule the United Kingdom out of future competitions, a spokesperson for the European Commission said that it was one of the "concrete consequences" to come after the country's decision to leave the EU.

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"Some cities have already spent up to £500,000 on their bid submissions".

European Union: British cities can't compete as 2023 Capital of Culture host