The EU is Scotland’s most important market for exports outside the rest of the UK.Access to the single market allows Scottish companies to provide goods and services across 27 other Member States with a combined population of some 500 million people and access to 22 million businesses.Beyond the EU, trade agreements with other parts of Europe (non EU) and the wider world opens up access to markets and investment opportunities further still, with more potential as the EU continues to negotiate new agreements, such as with the United States and Japan.With the right safeguards in place increased trade and investment opportunities, alongside improved standards and regulatory coherence, can contribute to Scotland’s economic development, global reputation and attractiveness, and strengthen external relationships and networks.The Scottish Government engages directly with the UK Government and the European Commission on trade issues where they are relevant to Scotland’s interests.
The food and drink industry is a major contributor to Scotland's economy with one in five people in manufacturing working in the sector. It is also one of the fastest growing sectors in Scotland with increases in overseas exports to new and emerging markets. We will continue to promote the Scottish brand with a ‘One Scotland’ approach including at cultural events, conferences and trade fairs in Brussels.
Scotland has also benefitted from the EU’s ‘protected designation of origin for agricultural products’ (e.g. Scottish Farmed Salmon, Scotch beef & lamb), giving them legal protection against imitation throughout the EU. We want to make sure this protection is also maintained in the EU’s international trade negotiations with our key export markets such as North America and Asia, and will continue to monitor progress in this area and promote our position.