What has the EU ever done for us?

In June 2016, Scotland voted decisively to Remain but now faces being dragged out of the EU against its will. 
We firmly believe that Scotland is better off in, and deserves better than this Tory Brexit mess.

Brussels is responsible for more than just regulations governing the curvature of bananas: it gives us prosperity, rights and freedoms that individuals, businesses and communities across Scotland have been benefitting from for 40 years.

Here are just some ways we benefit from our EU membership:

🗺 Freedom of movement

We are proud to celebrate freedom of movement across Europe.
 Our lives are enriched when we share them with people from other countries, and our horizons are broadened, because we can travel, work and study easily across the EU.

Scotland is home to nearly 209,000 non-UK EU citizens. Under the SNP government, they will always be welcome here – they bring valuable skills to the workplace, help support economic growth, and are an integral part of our social fabric.

Students from Scotland benefit from being able to study abroad and Scotland benefits from the thousands of EU students who come and study here.

💷 Seamless trade, stronger economy

Being part of the EU gives Scottish businesses access to the biggest single market in the world – enabling them to seamlessly export goods and services to a market of over 500 million consumers.

"The EU's single market is made up of 500 million people: over eight times the UK market"

Businesses don’t have to pay any tariffs, obtain regulatory approval, and can invest anywhere within the Single Market.
What’s more, the EU has 36 free trade deals across the world, giving access for Scottish exporters to emerging markets.

According to CBI figures, our EU membership is worth £3,000 per household – thanks to all the trade, investment, jobs and lower prices that come from us being a member.

Our economy is stronger because of the people who come here and contribute. 12% of all NHS staff and 26% of doctors were born outside of the UK. Our public services rely on people coming to Scotland and building a life here.

🌳 Protecting our environment

Climate change and pollution don’t respect national borders, so we need cross-border solutions to the challenges we face.

Being in the EU helps us protect our environment.

 Thanks to EU rules, our beaches and air are cleaner, our wildlife is safer, and our energy more sustainable.

We have much to gain from tackling climate change, and we can continue leading the way. We have an unparalleled resource in renewable energy: 25% of Europe’s tidal and offshore wind potential is in Scottish waters.

EU funding is making this possible: every year, millions of Euros are ploughed into clean energy projects and new research.

🤝 More workers’ rights

The EU has been fundamental in making the Scottish workplace more equal and fairer.

You only have to look at the Tory approach to workers’ rights to see how leaving the EU will put them in peril. European rules safeguard us against the Tories’ deregulation obsession and their attacks on trade unionists.

EU regulation guarantees protection for part-time and temporary workers, right for working parents, 28 days of paid holidays, health and safety standards, trade union rights, and so much more.

⛰ Sustainable future for rural communities

Almost 40% of the EU’s total budget is spent on CAP – the Common Agricultural Policy, which supports farmers and is a vital part of rural development.

Farmers receive subsidies providing they comply with environmental and food safety rules and are can get grants to improve the way they farm.

The subsidy system also encourages more young people into farming – a crucial support structure, as the average age of Scottish farmers is 58.

What’s more, EU rules ensure that regional foods, like Stornoway Black Pudding or Arbroath Smokies, are protected from other producers using the name.


There is nothing good about Theresa May’s shabby withdrawal deal or any form of Brexit: it makes Scotland poorer, it threatens jobs, and puts the benefits of our EU membership in peril.

On the day Brexit was originally scheduled – the 29th March 2019 – the UK Government is still in chaos, with a Prime Minister out of control and with no direction. Scotland has a clear message: we never voted for this shambles, and we want to remain at the heart of the European Union.

🇪🇺 Ultimately, we passionately believe in an independent Scotland within the EU. At this historic time,join the SNP and help us achieve that.