Building a New Scotland: an independent Scotland in the EU

This paper sets out the Scottish Government’s vision for an independent Scotland in the EU.


The majority of people in Scotland, the Scottish Parliament and the Scottish Government never wanted to leave the EU. Until Brexit, Scotland benefited from and contributed to the success of the EU. Since Brexit, Scotland has increasingly been distanced not only from the European single market – at considerable economic cost to the country – but from the community of sovereign states with which we share so many values and aspirations, and have achieved so much.

The EU’s core values of human dignity, equality, rule of law, freedom, democracy and human rights are ones that Scotland shares. The EU’s policy priorities of building a greener, fairer, more digital and more resilient future, are Scotland’s priorities. Scotland shares with the EU a vision to promote the wellbeing of the whole of society, while rising to the challenge of a just transition in response to the global climate emergency.

EU membership amplifies and enhances sovereignty by being part of a partnership with other independent states. Consensus and co-operation are needed to meet the challenges that the world faces. The climate emergency, the impact of the digital revolution on employment, migration, terrorism, trade, security and inequality all require a coordinated approach. So rather than having to accept the Westminster government’s position of increasing marginalisation, Scotland, with its long history of intellectual, cultural and economic openness, can choose to protect and advance its interests by becoming independent and an EU member state.

The rules-based international system, with its institutions such as the EU, provides the platforms and framework within which smaller states can operate and thrive. There is a clear process, as outlined in this paper, for an independent Scotland both to join the EU and, through democratic processes, participate on the international stage. We could build alliances with EU member states co-operating for the common good. We would have a seat at the table to shape policy and overall direction. We would have a voice and a vote.

With independence, Scotland can be a cooperative EU member state working on EU and global opportunities and challenges with our European counterparts. EU membership is central to Scotland’s future economic, political, security and social prospects. Independence is now the only realistic way to achieve it.



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