The European Movement in Scotland campaigns for Scotland to (re)join the EU as soon as possible – whether as part of the UK or in its own right as an independent state.
We know this will not be easy, not least while a Vote Leave Cabinet with an 80-seat majority in Parliament is in power in Westminster. But the mood in the EU-27 is very favourably disposed towards Scotland. It could take an independent Scotland as little as three or four years to (re)claim its rightful place inside the EU.
Benefits of EU Membership
As a small European nation on a par in population terms with Denmark and Ireland, EU membership brings enormous benefits (see below) both at home and overseas.
The EU helps provide buffers against external shocks such as financial crises or health emergencies and fosters internal resilience by helping to boost sustainable growth, creating green jobs and promoting ethical trade with the rest of the world.
The EU is playing a stronger role in the global economy. The euro is acquiring added power as a reserve currency.
EU membership will enhance Scotland’s influence for good across the world, giving us a stronger presence and voice.
The network of Scottish Government hubs would be expanded, often in shared embassies with fellow member states, including (we hope) the UK. Scotland would gain in stature as a key protagonist of the just transition to a zero carbon economy and green new deal.
Freedom of movement and immigration are vital to Scotland’s future. The quarter of a million EU nationals living here are welcome and play a vital role in our economy and society. Without them the population would decline through ageing, putting extra pressure on social security, including pensions.
Renewed membership would encourage more to come here and remain. Scots, at the same time, would be free to enhance their cultural, intellectual and professional experiences through programmes such as Erasmus-Plus.
For almost 50 years Scotland’s businesses, organisations and people benefitted from our being part of the EU, the world’s largest economy and trading area, capable of competing with advanced economies across the globe.
Membership of the EU single market plays an important role in attracting foreign direct investment, both from within and outside the EU, to Scotland. It is the most attractive UK location outside London for FDI.
Businesses in Scotland would benefit from the growing number of free trade agreements/ deals that the EU negotiates with third countries.
In 2020 the EU enjoyed 65 preferential trade partnerships worth €1.35bn. Scotland could seize the opportunity to boost its exports to both EU and non-EU destinations.
EU funding would return to Scotland through the European Structural Funds that, in 2014-2020, provided £780m.
CP direct payments were €3.5bn in the same period while universities and other research bodies won considerable sums through the Horizon programme.
Freedom of Movement
The freedom to travel, live, study, shop, work and retire – along with full pension entitlements – in any EU country, has brought major benefits to people in Scotland.
Scotland gains proportionally more benefit from schemes such as the Erasmus-Plus youth exchange programme.
Scotland has an extremely rich and well protected environment, which is famous throughout the world and is crucial to ensuring we have a resilient, sustainable economy and society.
It is vital that we protect this for both present and future generations.
Strength, Security and Influence
There are many areas – climate change, energy security, organised crime and terrorism or international trade – where the EU has much greater influence than measures enacted by individual nations.
The EU and You
EU membership would return numerous benefits that we once took for granted in day-to-day living: be it lower consumer prices, visa-free travel, mobile roaming, online purchases, food safety.
Worse off Out
EU membership made Scotland richer and safer. Brexit has caused hardship for Scottish businesses and individuals, often entire economic sectors, that resumed membership would reverse.