We are testing a new beta website for gov.scot go to new site


This content is no longer being updated. You can find the latest content on Europe on beta.gov.scot.

Mutual support

Boosting our economy

Being part of the EU means our businesses are operating within the world’s largest trading area of 500 million consumers.  For Scotland’s education sector it provides life changing opportunities abroad for our students and researchers, and for international collaboration.

For our communities and individuals benefits include social and development funds which support this Government’s work to secure new jobs, opportunities and inward investment to Scotland.

Mutual Support

The European Union is the world’s largest single market.  The freedom to move capital, people, goods and services has delivered economic and social benefits for Scotland, removing barriers to trade and opening Scotland to a market of 500 million people. 

  • Over 300,000 Scottish jobs were estimated by the Centre for Economic and Business Research to be directly and indirectly associated with exports to the EU in 2011.

  • The EU is the top destination for Scottish exports, receiving 42% of Scotland’s International exports in 2014, worth more than £11 billion. (Export Statistics Scotland 2014)

  • In 2015, there were over 2,310 foreign-owned companies in Scotland, employing around 314,000 people with a combined turnover of £90 billion – around 42% of these companies were ultimately owned by firms based in the EU. (Scottish Government ONS (IDBR))

  • In four out of the last five years Scotland has been the most successful of all the nations and regions of the UK outside London in attracting Foreign Direct Investment, according to the Ernst & Young attractiveness survey Scotland 2015. That survey shows that 72% of investors cite access to the European single market as important to the UK’s attractiveness as an investment destination.


Annual Imports and Exports with the rest of the world

Imports and exports