Open Government Action Plan commitment 5: transparency in exiting the EU

Progress reports on our commitment to be open and share information about the UK's exit from the EU, as part of our open government action plan.

This document is part of a collection

Progress to February 2021

Work envisaged at the outset of the project has been completed.  Given the nature of Brexit, with a high degree of uncertainty and new developments emerging constantly, some new activities have been delivered during the timescale of the project.


1. To engage with citizens and interest groups in the run up to Brexit, across Scotland

Status: 🙂 On Track (original activities completed)

The Brexit Stakeholder Engagement Fund was set up in May 2018, to enable organisations to have detailed discussions and give their views on Brexit to the Scottish Government.

The following document was published on 13 June 2019, Brexit: Unheard Voices document which encapsulated the views and findings from the stakeholder groups across Scotland on leaving the EU: 

Further to the Brexit Stakeholder Engagement Fund, Ministers engaged with their stakeholder across Scotland in various sectors and locations. 

The Scottish Government commissioned independent research to investigate the social and equality impacts of Brexit, reviewing the evidence in relation to 20 social and equality groups, and case studies on women, people with disabilities and ethnic minority people (published January 2020).

The government is currently investigating ways of making this evidence easier to explore and more accessible for public bodies, the third sector and others.

In the run up to EU Exit and subsequently, Organisational Readiness Directorate has engaged with policy colleagues and stakeholders representing organisations that support disadvantaged people including people from protected characteristic and socio-economically disadvantaged groupings, who are likely to be disproportionately impacted by the EU withdrawal. Regular updates are given to Ministers and policy staff to ensure inequalities and impacts are considered and mitigated against.

2. To engage rural communities and work with Scottish Rural Parliament and potentially others, to deliver a discussion on the impacts of Brexit on rural communities

Status: ✔ Complete

The Scottish Government has funded two projects aiming to: 1) facilitate an open dialogue between people in rural communities (led by Scottish Rural Action) and 2) to help ensure that island communities have the opportunity to contribute to and influence policy and development around Brexit (led by Scottish Islands Federation).

Scottish Rural Action held 20 events in rural Scotland and also at the biennial meeting of the Rural Parliament in November 2018.  They specifically heard from people living in the remotest parts of Scotland, young people, crofters and smallholders, women and rural homeless persons.

SRA Report -

The funding also enabled the Scottish Island Federation to bring island community groups together to openly discuss, research and present the implications of Brexit.  The discussions, consultation and reporting has formed firm foundations to some of their work in the longer-term.

3. To work with Children in Scotland to deliver a young people’s advisory panel on Brexit and MyLifeMySay to deliver Brexit Cafes for young people to understand their concerns and views on the future UK-EU relationship with a report due for publication in Spring 2019

Status: 🙂 On Track (original activities completed)

The Scottish Government set up a “standing council” for children and young people [Children and Young People’s Panel] to enable their views on Brexit to be heard. The group held four panel meetings to identify concerns around children and young people’s rights and how Brexit will impact them.

The panel met with the First Minister’s Standing Council, and were interviewed on BBC Radio 5 live, and met with a cross party group at the Scottish Parliament.

The Panel provided recommendations around all the main themes surrounding Brexit.

Children in Scotland Report -

Members of The Children and Young People’s Panel on Europe, within a project currently funded currently by the Scottish Government, met the First Minister and Minister for Children and Young People Maree Todd on 3 February, in a Round Table to discuss issues of concern to them arising from Brexit. Among these are the availability of EU funding for children’s care, services and educational opportunities, the option to travel, work and study in Europe and general uncertainty caused by Brexit. Participants held a lively discussion with the First Minister and at her invitation have since submitted a letter with further questions for the Scottish Government.

CYP members are currently working on follow up activity to the objectives and priorities determined by previous phases of the project, such as how to influence policy makers on issues of interest to young people, and how to empower more young people to take part in political processes. The Panel is planning further contact with decision makers, and also publication of materials relevant to their work.

Further information available here

My Life My Say partnered up with Social Bite in Scotland to deliver this project that was aimed at college and university aged students and under 25 Young Professionals. The aim of these cafes was to create open dialogue between young people with different views on Brexit and to look at raising awareness in regards to their opinions. The three Scottish cafés also fed into an overall report that was produced by the London School of Economics. Youth Scotland (the network for community based youth work) and YouthLink Scotland (the national agency for youth work) also collaborated to investigate the impact of Brexit on the youth work sector in Scotland and to support youth workers in their work with young people on Brexit. 

4. As set out in the Scottish Government’s Programme for Government, we are making provision for a service that will provide practical advice, information and support for EU citizens in Scotland. We envisage a service that will improve awareness and understanding of rights, entitlements and requirements, and we will set out more details of the service in the coming weeks.

We will make provision for an advice and support service for those 235,000 EU citizens resident in Scotland. This will seek to offer information on the new settled status scheme and provide support to EU citizens in understanding the impact Brexit will have on them

Status: ✔ Complete

In April 2019 the First Minister launched the ‘Stay in Scotland’ campaign to raise awareness of the EU Settlement Scheme and to provide direct support to EU citizens in Scotland. The campaign reinforces the message that EU citizens are welcome in Scotland and that the Scottish Government will do what it can to help them to stay. Over £1 million of funding has been committed to supporting EU citizens in Scotland through the Stay in Scotland campaign including a range of guides and factsheets that can be found here. Together with JustRights Scotland we have produced a factsheet for EU citizens on their employment rights. We fund Citizens Advice Scotland to run a EU Citizens Support Service to help EU citizens. EU Citizens can call the helpline free of charge Monday to Friday 9am – 5pm (0800 916 9847).


The Scottish Government have produced a range of materials for EU citizens and employers explaining how leaving the EU will impact on EU citizens. Further information can be found at EU citizens living in Scotland after Brexit - Information for employers is here.

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