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.

What our proposals would mean for Scotland

Independence would enable Scotland to apply to join the EU as a member state in its own right, representing its interests directly in the EU for the first time. This publication shows that doing so would allow Scotland to:

  • contribute to the EU’s values of promoting peaceful coexistence, respect for human rights, and prosperity built on co-operation, sustainable development and international law
  • be part of an organisation with global reach, working from within the EU to tackle global challenges
  • contribute directly to the policies of one of the most influential actors in global trade negotiations, and on international human rights and equality policies
  • have a seat at EU decision-making tables including Scottish representation in the European Council, Commission and Parliament, with a voice in debates and a vote on outcomes
  • contribute to the EU’s common foreign and security policy, the importance of which has been underlined by the Russian invasion of Ukraine
  • work with EU partners to combat organised crime, terrorism, cybercrime, drug and people trafficking and money laundering
  • access EU funding streams such as support for more sustainable agriculture, and for regional economic development
  • participate automatically in the EU’s flagship Horizon Europe research and development programme, and collaborate more easily with EU partners to drive innovation
  • take advantage of the free movement of people in the EU to help address Scotland’s demographic challenges and make it easier for Scots to work in the rest of the EU
  • influence the EU’s future regulatory requirements, for example on data protection, safety and environmental standards
  • operate in a rules-based international system, with a framework which allows small independent nations to thrive



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