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Policy actions 2 of 4

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 219,000 EU citizens living in Scotland, and the rights of Scots in other EU countries. Find our downloadable leaflet on citizens' rights here.

Engagement events

Scottish Ministers and officials are meeting with EU citizens and their families across the country to listen to their views and concerns.

We have now delivered events in Fife, Dundee and Glasgow.

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.

On the 19th of March 2018 the UK and EU27 jointly published a draft legal text on the Withdrawal Agreement which indicated that agreement had been reached at negotiators' level on issues related to EU citizens' rights. The draft legal text includes a transition period of 21 months after the UK leaves the EU on 29 March 2019. The draft agreement now extends to EU citizens and their families who come to the UK during this transition period. You can find the full text of the draft agreement here.

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

EU documents on Brexit negotiations with the UK: