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 the EU

Scotland, with its well-deserved reputation as a welcoming and inclusive country, has the capacity to contribute significantly to the EU as an independent member state. This publication shows some of what Scotland could offer the EU by:

  • contributing to the core values of the EU, which are based on human dignity, equality, rule of law, freedom, democracy and human rights
  • using our strategic position on the northern edge of Europe, and our commitment to the EU’s international efforts for peace and stability, to contribute to the defence and security capabilities that keep Scotland and the EU safe
  • helping the EU to achieve sustainable energy security through access to our significant renewable energy resources, and to achieve its net zero ambitions and climate change and biodiversity goals
  • Scottish researchers collaborating with those from across the EU, sharing our expertise in areas such as animal and veterinary science, fisheries and the environment
  • helping the EU deliver new clean energy technologies through our innovation and research expertise
  • contributing to the EU’s digital economy, including through our expertise in games and software development, artificial intelligence, data science and connectivity
  • with the return of free movement, freely welcoming EU artists to the global platform which Scotland’s international festivals offer
  • bringing expertise and new ideas to the EU’s culture policy initiatives, particularly the Creative Europe programme, given our rich cultural heritage
  • working with EU partners on migration and asylum policy and participating constructively in EU refugee resettlement and relocation initiatives
  • welcoming EU students to our world class universities enabling them to enjoy the same access to higher education as Scottish students



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