Scotland and Brexit: the basics

On 23 June 2016, a referendum was held to decide whether the UK should stay in the European Union.  The country voted by 51.9% to 48.1% to leave, with a turnout of 71.8%.  What does this mean for Scotland and the rest of the UK?

Scotland and Brexit

Continuing the success of devolution is a key aim in the Brexit process.  The UK Government has been clear no decisions which are currently made by the Scottish Parliament will be removed as a result of EU Exit and that it expects Holyrood’s powers to grow.

EU Exit legislation

In January 2017, the UK Government published its European Union (Notification of Withdrawal) Bill [pdf] and in February 2017 it published a White Paper setting out its strategy for leaving the EU.

A number of “Brexit Bills” were revealed in June 2017, which set out the UK Government’s approach to leaving the EU.  These include the ‘European Union (Withdrawal) Bill’, which is sets out how the UK Government intends to move laws from the European Parliament to the UK.  You can read more about the Brexit bills in our Guide to EU Exit Legislation.

EU Nationals

In December 2017, the UK Government reached an agreement with the EU to secure the status of UK nationals living in other member states and EU citizens living in the UK after we exit the EU.

The UK remains a full member until we exit the EU, and all rights and obligations of membership remain in place until then.

Find out more about EU citizens’ rights - external link

UK Government departments involved with EU Exit

The result of the EU referendum saw the formation of two new government departments: the Department for Exiting the European Union (DExEU) and the Department for International Trade (DIT).

More information

Visit the DExEU website - external link
Visit the DIT website - external link

The Scottish Parliament website presents an EU Exit timeline with key events in relation to the United Kingdom’s departure from the European Union and the Scottish Parliament’s engagement with the process.

Visit the Scottish Parliament website - external link

Find out more about Scotland and Brexit.