Scotland's place in Europe: assessment of UK Government's proposed future relationship with the EU

Our assessment of the UK Government's proposed future relationship with the EU.

Annex: Comparison Table

EU membership The Prime Minister’s Proposed Brexit deal
Scotland better or worse off?
(£) - in 2016 cash prices
Growth remains on track[25] Loss equivalent to £1,610 per person in Scotland[26] compared to EU membership (by 2030)
Impact on business investment
% change
Investment remains on track 7.7% lower compared to EU membership (by 2030)
Northern Ireland backstop, will apply from 2021 unless the UK and EU can agree how to avoid a hard border on the island of Ireland and protect the GFA Current arrangements, so no need for a backstop
A special deal for Northern Ireland will put Scotland at a serious competitive disadvantage
Imports and exports
→ 6,800 Scottish companies export to the EU → More than 10,000 companies rely on imports from the EU
Full access to the EU market

More border checks and regulatory requirements for goods will be inevitable outside single market, and service exports will be substantially restricted
which account for 75% 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
In the event of 50% less EU migration, Scotland’s working age population would be projected to decline by 1%
Free movement of people, to meet Scotland’s need for workers for example in research, health, care, and remote rural areas
Likely to 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 High standards and protections, for example for the environment, food safety, animal welfare, health and safety, equality and working conditions No guarantee that the UK will maintain the same high standards in future.
Scotland to continue to benefit from punching ‘above its weight’ from EU funding programmes and initiatives such as Horizon 2020 and Erasmus+ Little guarantee that these opportunities and benefits will be maintained as part of the future relationship


Email: Ellen Leaver

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