EU and EEA citizens in Scotland
We believe that remaining in the EU and the single market, and continuing to benefit from the free movement of persons, is in the best interests of Scotland and the UK as a whole. Not only does Scotland (and the UK) benefit enormously from the contribution made by citizens of other EU countries, but we also benefit from the opportunity that free movement gives to Scots to live and work in other EU countries.
We are particularly concerned about protecting the rights of family members of EU citizens, the processes of applying for new settled status in the UK, and continued access to independent judicial redress. More detail on our position can be found in the First Minister's letter to EU citizens in Scotland.
We do not believe that EU citizens and their families should see their future rights reduced as a result of Brexit. We will continue to press the UK Government to protect the rights of the 209,000 EU citizens living in Scotland, and the rights of Scots in other EU countries.
Scottish Ministers and officials are meeting with EU citizens and their families across the country to listen to their views and concerns.
The first event took place in Fife on 12 December 2017 in conjunction with Fife Council.
Details of future events and how you can register to attend will be posted here, please check back regularly for updates.
EU and EEA citizens' rights
We recognise that this is a difficult time for EU and EEA citizens living in Scotland, many of whom have lived here for decades and built lives here with their families. EU and EEA citizens are understandably concerned about their future rights and status.
The UK Government has said there will be no changes to the rights of EU citizens before the UK leaves the EU. That means that there is no change at present to their right to live, work or study in Scotland, or to the right of them or their family members to access education, healthcare or other services as they do now.
Please also see our downloadable leaflet outlining the Scottish Government's Position on EU Citizens' Rights.
Actions we have taken to date
We want EU and EEA citizens and their families to continue to make their lives here in Scotland. We have set out our position in Scotland's Place in Europe and in Scotland's Place in Europe: People, Jobs and Investment, Both make it clear that we believe the UK should remain in the European Single Market and continue to benefit from the free movement of people.
The First Minister, in her open letter to EU citizens immediately after the referendum, called on the UK Government to provide assurances that those living here would have their rights protected and to make it clear that Scotland remains a stable and open place to live, study, work and do business.
In response to the UK Government's paper setting out their negotiating position on citizens' rights, we published our position paper, Protecting the rights of EU citizens, in July 2017.
We also published our response to the UK Government's call for evidence on the contribution of EEA citizens to the UK labour market on 8 November 2017. This is underpinned by the latest data and analysis on the contribution of EEA workers to Scotland and shows that that EU citizens working in Scotland contribute £4.42 billion a year to Scotland's GDP.
UK Government resources, including its negotiating position
- UK Government website on the status of EU citizens in the UK
- UK Government policy paper on safeguarding the position of EU citizens in the UK and UK citizens in the EU
EU documents, including the EU's negotiating position as set out by the 'Brexit Taskforce'
- find a private solicitor specialising in immigration on the Law Society Scotland website
- find an immigration adviser registered with the Office of the Immigration Services Commissioner on the OISC website