Inquiry into EU reform and the EU referendum: implications for Scotland, submission from Together

Date: 6th September 2016
Category: Other human rights treaties and mechanisms

Together's submission specifically focuses on the impact that the UK's exit from the EU is likely to have on the rights of children and young people.

It also examines the subsequent considerations that need to be taken into account in discussions between the Scottish and UK Governments, and the EU.

The European and External Relations Committee of the Scottish Parliament agreed to conduct an inquiry into EU reform and the EU referendum: implications for Scotland. The Committee will consider a range of issues, including the following:

EU Referendum

  • What are the implications of the EU Referendum Bill in relation to the timing of the referendum, the franchise for the referendum and the question to be put to the electorate?
  • What does EU membership mean for Scotland's economy and its people? What are the implications for Scotland if there is a vote in the referendum to leave the European Union?
  • What would be the process for leaving the EU, including: the legal process with the EU and within the UK; withdrawal from the single market and EU trade agreements; the ending of free movement of persons; and transition arrangements?

EU Reform

  • To what extent and in what policy areas is there a need for EU reform?
  • What are the implications of EU reform for Scotland both in relation to devolved and reserved policy areas?
  • What the role of national parliaments should be in relation to EU legislation and whether there should also be a role for substate legislatures?

Intergovernmental Relations

  • To what extent do the current intergovernmental structures and arrangements provide for meaningful involvement of the Scottish Government on the UK's agenda for renegotiating the UK's position in the EU?
  • How could intergovernmental structures and arrangements be improved in the context of the Smith Commission agreement that the mechanisms for handling EU business should be improved?

Together's key messages to the European and External Relations Committee are that:

  • Children and young people must be meaningfully involved in all future discussions and debates around the UK's exit from the EU;
  • Every effort must be made to safeguard the opportunities and protections that EU membership currently provides to children and young people;
  • A child rights impact assessment should be undertaken on any decisions made by the Scottish Government to ensure there is an informed and systematic approach to considering children's rights.
  • Download Together's full written submission here.