Independence: what you need to know

Information about Scotland's future.

The European Union

The Scottish Government’s policies for an independent Scotland at a glance

  • Scotland would apply to re-join the European Union as an independent member state
  • this would give Scotland full access to the biggest single market in the world
  • it would offer the people of Scotland freedom of movement across 27 European countries
  • there would be no border checks on exports to, and goods from, the EU
  • the Scottish Government would develop a package of practical help for traders

European Union membership

Following a vote for independence, Scotland would apply to re-join the European Union.

This would provide Scotland with access to the European Single Market, and allow freedom of movement of people, so Scottish and other EU citizens can travel freely.

Future papers in the series will provide more detail on proposals relating to EU membership.

Common Travel Area

Under an arrangement called the Common Travel Area, people in Scotland would be able to live, work and move freely within the UK, Ireland, the Channel Islands, and the Isle of Man.

All British and Irish citizens could continue to live, work and move freely in Scotland.


Checks on goods moving between Scotland and the EU, and Northern Ireland, would be removed.

Scotland would also continue to trade with England and Wales and would make sure smooth arrangement for management of the movement of goods.

A package of practical help would help traders adapt to any new procedures and requirements following independence.

Future papers in the Building a New Scotland series will contain more information on trade with the EU.

Read more about Europe in the economy paper.

More information will be added to these pages as the Building a New Scotland papers are published.

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