Economic Impact of Leaving the European Union


About the Inquiry

The Economy, Jobs and Fair Work Committee considered the potential economic impact of leaving the European Union, focussing on the following areas: 

Possible impacts and opportunities for Scotland’s exporters;

Possible impacts and opportunities for non-UK companies investing in Scotland;

Potential impact on labour market issues, including migration and worker rights.

The Committee sought the views and concerns of Scottish businesses and workers based in Scotland.      

The remit of the inquiry is:

To investigate the impact of the decision to leave the EU, in the context of Scotland’s economic strategy, on exports, inwards investment and labour and employment rights; to explore ways to mitigate the immediate impact and to seize any opportunities arising from the decision and to make recommendations to the Scottish and UK Governments in this regard.


At its meeting on Tuesday 1 November 2016 the Committee took evidence from:

Dr Graeme Roy, Director, Fraser of Allander Institute; 
Richard Marsh, Director, 4-Consulting; 
Stephen Boyle, Chief Economist, The Royal Bank of Scotland; 
Dr Matias Margulis, Lecturer, University of Stirling; 
Dr Fabian Zuleeg, Chief Executive and Chief Economist, European Policy Centre; 
Jane Gotts, Director, GenAnalytics Ltd; 
Jenny Stewart, Head of Infrastructure and Government, KPMG.

At its meeting on Tuesday 15 November 2016 the Committee took evidence from:

Jeremy Peat, Visiting Professor, University of Strathclyde, International Public Policy Institute;
James Brodie, Manager, Scotland and China Business Adviser, China-Britain Business Council; 
Gareth Williams, Head of Policy, Scottish Council for Development & Industry (SCDI);
Neil Francis, International Operations Director, Scottish Development International.

At its meeting on Tuesday 22 November 2016 the Committee took evidence from:

James Porter, Angus Soft Fruits Ltd;
Dr Donald Macaskill, Chief Executive, Scottish Care;
Shirley Rogers, Director for Health Workforce and Strategic Change, Scottish Government;
Bartlomiej Kowalczyk, Director, Polish Business Link.
Stephen Boyd, Assistant Secretary, Scottish Trades Union Congress;
Professor Robert Wright, University of Strathclyde;
Gordon McGuinness, Director of Industry and Enterprise Networks, Skills Development Scotland;
Patrick McGuire, Solicitor Advocate, Thompsons Solicitors.

At its meeting on Tuesday 29 November 2016 the Committee took evidence from:

Keith Brown, Cabinet Secretary for the Economy, Jobs and Fair Work, Michael Russell, Minister for UK Negotiations on Scotland's Place in Europe, Gary Gillespie, Chief Economist, and George Burgess, Deputy Director - EU and International Trade and Investment Policy, Scottish Government.


Written evidence

The Committee has issued a call for written views which ran from 14 October to 21 November 2016.

Read the news release

Read the written submissions received

Visits and Events

The Committee visited a number of business and employees throughout November.

Aggreko Manufacturing, Dumbarton
Clydesdale Bank, Glasgow
CodeBase, Edinburgh
Denholm Seafoods Ltd, Peterhead
Edrington, West Calder

Festivals Edinburgh
Golden Jubilee National Hospital, Clydebank
Liberty Steel Motherwell
Oil and Gas UK, Aberdeen
Quality Meat Scotland, Ingliston
Scottish Fishermen’s Federation, Aberdeen
Scottish Salmon Producers Organisation, Perth
University of Edinburgh
University of St Andrews
Vegware, Edinburgh

Work by other Committees

The Committee will consider evidence submitted to the Culture, Tourism, Europe and External Relations Committee, which can be found at the following link:

Culture, Tourism, Europe and External Relations Committee 


The Committee published its report on 3 February 2017.

2nd Report, 2017 (Session 5): Report on the Economic Impact of Leaving the European Union

The Scottish Government responded to the Report on 25 May 2017.

Scottish Government Response (343KB pdf)

The Secretary of State for Scotland Responded on 29 September 2017

The Secretary of State for Scotland responded further on 21 November 2017


The Committee's report was debated in the Chamber on 28 February.

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