Scotland's place in Europe: assessment of the revised EU withdrawal agreement and political declaration

Our assessment of the UK Government's proposed future relationship with the European Union, as outlined in the revised Withdrawal Agreement and Political Declaration.

Annex: Comparison of EU Membership Versus Prime Minister's Deal

EU membership

Prime Minister Johnson's Proposed Brexit deal

Scotland better or worse off?

(£) - in 2016 cash prices

Growth remains on track (baseline - no change)

Scotland's GDP would be around 6.1% (£9 billion) lower than if we stayed in the EU, equivalent to £1,600 per person in Scotland than if we remained in the EU. (by 2030, modelled as Free Trade Agreement)

Imports and exports

Last year more than 6,800 Scottish companies exported goods to the EU & more than 11,000 relied on imports from the EU

Full access to EU market

More border checks and regulatory requirements for goods will be inevitable outside single market and customs union, and service exports will be substantially restricted

Services, which account for three quarters of Scotland's economy

Full access to EU market

Limitations to service suppliers' ability to operate cross border, meaning export of services will be severely hindered


Without EU migration, Scotland's working age population is projected to decline by 3.7% to 2043

Free movement of people, to contribute to meeting Scotland's need for workers for example in research, health, care, and remote rural areas

Will include an end to free movement, with severe implications for key economic, health and care sectors, plus long term effects on Scotland's population growth and age profile

Social and Environmental Standards

EU standards play a crucial role in delivering Scotland's environmental and climate change ambitions

High standards and protections, for example for the environment, food safety, animal welfare, health and safety, equality and working conditions. At least 20% of expenditure in the European budget is climate-related with a planned increase to 25% in the new budget for 2021 - 2027

No legally binding international commitment that the UK will maintain the same high standards in future

Innovation & Collaboration

Almost €650 million of Horizon 2020 funding has been secured by Scottish organisations since 2014; and over 2,000 Scottish Higher Education students take part in Erasmus+ each year.

Scotland to continue to benefit from EU funding programmes and initiatives such as Horizon 2020 and Erasmus+

Little guarantee that these opportunities and benefits will be maintained fully as part of the future relationship post-Brexit. There are differing levels of potential access under this deal, however it will be impossible to fully replicate the level of access we currently have



Back to top