Scottish Government's position on EU Citizens' rights

Information on the Scottish Government's position on EU citizens' rights with links to further information and advice for those affected by Brexit.

The Scottish Government’s Position on EU Citizens’ Rights

Scotland is your home, you are welcome here, and the contribution that you make to our economy, our society and our culture is valued

Nicola Sturgeon
First Minister of Scotland, June 2016

The Scottish Government believes that remaining in the EU and the single market and continuing to benefit from the free movement of persons is in the best interests of Scotland and the UK as a whole. Not only does Scotland (and the UK) benefit enormously from the contribution made by citizens of other EU countries, but we also benefit from the opportunity that free movement gives to Scots to live and work in other EU countries.

Immigration and free movement are reserved to the UK Government meaning the Scottish Government is not able to make separate rules for EU citizens living here. However, since the referendum we have urged the UK Government to immediately guarantee the rights of all EU citizens and their families living anywhere in the UK.

We have set out our concerns particularly in relation to the rights of family members, the processes of applying for new settled status in the UK and continued access to independent judicial redress.

We do not believe that EU citizens and their families should see their future rights reduced as a result of Brexit.

We will continue to press the UK Government to protect the rights of the 209,000 EU citizens living in Scotland and the rights of Scots in other EU countries.

Scotland is Your Home

Scotland is an outward facing and diverse country with a long history of welcoming the world to visit, live, work and invest. EU citizens and their families make a vital contribution to our economy, society and culture.

The Scottish Government recognises that this is a difficult time for EU citizens living in Scotland many of whom have lived here for decades and built lives here with their families. EU citizens are understandably concerned about their future rights and status. We are clear that you are welcome here, and that Scotland remains your home.

The UK Government have said that there will be no changes to the rights of EU citizens before the UK leaves the EU. That means that there is no change at present to your right to live, work or study in Scotland, or to the right of you or your family members to access education, healthcare or other services as you do now.

Non-UK EU nationals

Source: Annual Population Survey, January – December 2016

Where to get further information and advice

Scottish Government Ministers and officials are meeting with EU citizens and their families across the country to listen to your views and concerns. We will continue to press the UK Government to protect your rights, now and in the future.

We have published a series of papers setting out our position, including evidence to the Migration Advisory Committee (a body which advises the Home Office on immigration) that we published in November 2017, which shows that EU citizens working in Scotland contribute £4.42 billion a year to Scotland’s GDP. Those papers are available online, at the link below.

We have provided more detail on your rights as an EU citizen in Scotland and where you can go for further help and advice on our website: /policies/europe/


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