Scotland has been part of the European Union (EU) for more than 40 years, delivering many social, economic and cultural benefits for individuals, businesses and communities across Scotland.
We believe that remaining in the EU would have been the best option for the UK as a whole and for Scotland. However in light of the EU referendum result, our view is that the UK as a whole should remain in the EU Single Market and Customs Union.
- working to protect Scotland's interests in the EU negotiations
- working to protect the interests of EU and EEA citizens in Scotland
- using our Innovation and Investment Hubs to influence EU policy and exchange best practice
- developing an updated Nordic Baltic Policy Statement
- servicing the independent Standing Council on Europe, which is advising Ministers on how to best protect Scottish interests throughout Brexit negotiations
Engagement and cooperation with Europe is essential to achieving the central aim of Scotland's Economic Strategy.
It is also essential for tackling the issues raised by climate change, energy security, immigration, and international crises.
Leaving the EU
In the 2016 referendum on whether the UK should leave the EU, 62% of voters in Scotland voted for the UK to remain, with all 32 local authority areas in Scotland returning remain majorities. However 52% of voters across the UK as a whole voted to leave the EU.
While accepting the UK Government's decision to leave the EU, we are committed to ensuring Scotland's interests in Europe are understood and protected throughout the Brexit negotiations.
For more than 40 years individuals, businesses and communities across Scotland have experienced the social, economic and cultural benefits of EU membership. They include the freedom to live, study, work, trade or travel across the 28 member states.
In addition, Scotland has become home to 209,000 non-UK EU citizens. We recognise that they bring valuable skills to the workplace, play an important role in local communities, and help support economic growth.
The EU has also provided social protection for all people in Scotland, guaranteeing minimum working conditions and the right to not be discriminated against on the basis of gender, race, nationality or age.
Our proposals in light of the referendum are outlined in the paper Scotland's Place in Europe.
Telephone: 0300 244 4000 (Central Enquiries Unit)
St Andrews House