Written Call for Evidence – Scotland’s relationship with the EU

Category: Policies & procedures

10th August 2016

The European and External Relations Committee is conducting an inquiry into the implications of the EU Referendum result for Scotland's relationship with the EU.

In order to support that inquiry work, the Committee has agreed to issue a call for evidence on a range of issues relating to the implications of the referendum result for Scotland.

On 23 June in the referendum on EU membership, the UK electorate voted to leave the EU. Of those who voted, 17.4 million people or 51.9% vote to leave, and 16.1 million or 48.1% voted to remain. In Scotland, 38% voted to leave and 62% voted to remain, with a majority in all 32 local authorities to remain in the EU.

Given the current lack of certainty about the date on which the UK will notify the European Council of its intention to leave the European Union, as well as the lack of clarity about the relationship that the UK will seek with the EU in the future, the Committee intends to take a flexible approach to its inquiry work and may seek further evidence on specific issues in the future.

At this point in time, the Committee would welcome the views of individuals and organisations in relation to any of the areas set out below, or other areas that those submitting evidence to the Committee consider to be of importance:

Case studies on how the prospect of a withdrawal from the EU is affecting Scotland

The Committee recognises that there is considerable uncertainty for businesses, for organisations, for institutions and for individuals - particularly EU citizens - about the prospect of a withdrawal from the EU. It would therefore welcome case studies which illustrate the impact that the vote to leave the UK is having in Scotland. It would be helpful if you could describe the nature of your business and what impact the vote to leave the EU may have.

Scotland's future relationship with the European Union

The First Minister has indicated that it is her intention to protect Scotland's relationship with the European Union and its place in the single market. The Committee would welcome views on the value of Scotland's membership of the European Union and what Scotland's relationship with the European Union should be in the future.

The Committee would also welcome views on how best Scotland can maintain its relationship with the EU as mandated by the recent vote in the Scottish Parliament.

Alternatives to EU membership

The Committee would welcome views on:

  • the alternatives to EU membership
  • the implications of these alternatives for Scotland

The withdrawal process

The Session 4 European and External Relations Committee established that it would be a long and complex process to negotiate withdrawal from the European Union. The current European and External Relations Committee would be particularly interested in views on --

  • how the withdrawal process might be managed at the EU and UK level
  • what steps would be involved in this process and how individual policy fields might be dealt with
  • the amount of time that might be required to deal with the negotiations
  • how the interests of Scotland and the other constituent parts of the United Kingdom can be represented in those negotiations and what role the Scottish Government should have in those negotiations
  • the positions likely to be taken by other Member States in the negotiations

The domestic process for dealing with a withdrawal from the EU

Withdrawal for the EU would have significant impacts on legislation. The Committee would welcome views on:

  • the implications for the devolution settlement of withdrawal from the EU
  • the implications for UK and Scots law of a withdrawal from the EU, particularly the need to repeal legislation and prepare new legislation to fill the gaps left by EU legislation
  • the scale of the task the implications for the Scottish Government and Scottish Parliament
  • Currently EU funding makes a significant contribution to Scotland's economy, whether through the European Structural and Investment Funds (ESIF), Horizon 2020 and other competitive funding opportunities. The Committee would like to hear views on --
  • the impact on Scotland's economy of termination of ESIF support and access to the Horizon 2020 programme
  • the implications for Scotland's funding settlement of withdrawal from the EU

The position of EU citizens in Scotland

Many EU citizens have made their homes in Scotland either on a temporary or more permanent basis. The Committee would welcome views on:

  • the position of EU citizens in Scotland in the event of withdrawal from the EU
  • the extent to which EU citizens in Scotland have acquired rights
  • the contribution that EU citizens make to Scotland's economy and society

How to submit written evidence

You may wish to respond on some or all of the issues outlined above, or to raise other issues that you consider to be of relevance to the Committee's planned inquiry. Evidence should be reasonably brief and typewritten (preferably normally no more than 4-6 sides of A4 in total).


The initial deadline for receipt of written submissions is Monday 5 September, although the Committee will welcome further evidence that responds to developments on this issue. Owing to the timescale normally required for the processing and analysis of evidence, late submissions will only be accepted with the advance agreement of the Clerk.

The Committee prefers to receive written submissions electronically and in a form accessible by MS Word. These should be sent to: EUreformandreferendum@scottish.parliament.uk

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