Taking action to ensure Scotland’s place in the EU

The SNP Scottish Government is working tirelessly to deliver what Scotland voted for – to stay in the EU. 

Here’s how.

1. The Scottish Government is engaging in discussions with EU countries and institutions to explore all options to protect Scotland’s place in Europe. The First Minister has had a series of high-level meetings in Brussels to secure Scotland’s place in Europe. Read more here.

The First Minister has held discussions in Dublin with the Irish President Michael D Higgins and Irish Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade Charlie Flanagan TD. On a visit to Berlin, the First Minister also met with the German Europe Minister Michael Roth.

2. Nicola Sturgeon has set out Scotland’s five key interests that must be protected after Scotland voted overwhelmingly in favour of remaining in the EU. These are our democratic interest, economic interest, our interest in social protection, solidarity and influence. Read more about Scotland’s five key interests in Europe here.

3. We are working to protect Scotland’s membership of the single market. We believe that a coalition can be built to keep the UK as a whole in the single market through a soft Brexit. We will work with other organisations and parties across the UK in support of this aim.

It is clear, however, that Scotland must also continue to pursue alternative options to ensure our place in the single market in the event of a hard Brexit. Therefore we will work to build an all-Scotland coalition – of politicians, business, universities and others – to prevent the UK taking Scotland over a hard Brexit cliff edge.

Read more about why membership of the single market is important here.

4.  The Scottish Government has intervened in the Brexit court case. We believe that the UK government should seek parliamentary approval before triggering Article 50 – the instrument that would see the UK leaving the EU. The Scottish Government has now intervened in the case at the Supreme Court to ensure Scotland’s voice is heard in process. Read more about the Brexit court case here.

5. The First Minister has appointed Michael Russell MSP as the dedicated Minister for UK Negotiations on Scotland’s Place in Europe. This will ensure that throughout the Article 50 process Scotland’s voice is heard loudly and clearly.

Scottish Government Ministers will work with Northern Ireland and Wales to ensure that the priorities of the devolved nations are part of the wider Brexit process and influence key UK Government decisions.

6. An advisory panel made up of a range of experts to advise the Scottish Government on legal, financial and diplomatic matters has been established. The advisory panel involves voices from across the political spectrum in Scotland, including different views on Scotland’s constitutional future. Read more about the Standing Council on Europe and it’s members here.

7. If it becomes clear that independence is the best or only way to secure Scotland’s place in the EU then it will be on the table and will be a decision for the people of Scotland to take. The necessary legislation for a second independence referendum is being prepared to ensure that it is a deliverable option.

8. The First Minister has announced a package of measures to stimulate Scotland’s economy following the result of the EU referendum. Action includes bringing forward £100 million of government spending on infrastructure and providing fresh support for businesses. Read more about our action to protect our economy here.

9. EU citizens that are living here in Scotland are being reassured that they remain welcome here. Consuls general from EU member states have attended a summit at Bute House to reassure them that their citizens living in Scotland remain welcome. Read more about our action to reassure EU citizens here.

10. An intensive programme of engagement is being undertaken to reassure people in Scotland, particularly businesses, that as of now Scotland remains firmly in the EU and trade and business should continue as normal. A new Business Information Service will be established to provide support and reassurance to businesses and a Post-Referendum Business Network will help shape policy and support for businesses.