EU reform and the EU referendum: implications for Scotland




The European and External Relations Committee of the Scottish Parliament agreed to conduct an inquiry into EU reform and the EU referendum: implications for Scotland. The Committee will consider a range of issues, including the following—

EU Referendum 

  • What are the implications of the EU Referendum Bill in relation to the timing of the referendum, the franchise for the referendum and the question to be put to the electorate?
  • What does EU membership mean for Scotland’s economy and its people? What are the implications for Scotland if there is a vote in the referendum to leave the European Union?
  • What would be the process for leaving the EU, including: the legal process with the EU and within the UK; withdrawal from the single market and EU trade agreements; the ending of free movement of persons; and transition arrangements?  

EU Reform 

  • To what extent and in what policy areas is there a need for EU reform?
  • What are the implications of EU reform for Scotland both in relation to devolved and reserved policy areas?
  • What the role of national parliaments should be in relation to EU legislation and whether there should also be a role for substate legislatures? 

Intergovernmental Relations 

  • To what extent do the current intergovernmental structures and arrangements provide for meaningful involvement of the Scottish Government on the UK’s agenda for renegotiating the UK’s position in the EU?
  • How could intergovernmental structures and arrangements be improved in the context of the Smith Commission agreement that the mechanisms for handling EU business should be improved? 



Written evidence

Read the written evidence received by the Committee 

Call for evidence  

The Committee's call for evidence closed on 9 September 2015.

Read call for evidence

Evidence sessions

25 February 2016 - implications for Scotland

Official Report 25 February 2016

Professor Christina Boswell, Director of Research, School of Social and Political Science, University of Edinburgh
Professor John Curtice, Professor of Politics, University of Strathclyde Senior Research Fellow, ScotCen Social Research; and Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC) Fellow, 'The UK in a Changing Europe' programme
Dr Kirsty Hughes, Associate Fellow, Friends of Europe, Brussels
Professor Michael Keating, Professor of Politics, University of Aberdeen and Director, Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC) Centre on Constitutional Change
Dr Fabian Zuleeg, Chief Executive and Chief Economist, European Policy Centre (via video conference)
Humza Yousaf MSP, Minister for Europe and International Development, and Craig Egner, Head of European Relations Team, Scottish Government

Written evidence from witnesses:

21 January 2016 alternatives to EU membership

Official report 21 January 2016

Professor Dr Andreas Auer LL.M., Emeritus Professor, Universities of Zurich and Geneva
Niels Engelschiøn, Deputy Director General, Department for European Affairs, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Oslo
Knut Hermansen, Minister Counsellor, Norwegian Mission to the EU, Brussels
Daithí O'Ceallaigh, Chair of the UK Project Group, Institute of International and European Affairs and former Irish Ambassador to the UK

17 December 2015 – on the process of leaving the European Union

Official Report 17 December 2015

Professor Catherine Barnard, Professor of European Union Law,University of Cambridge (via video conference)
Michael P Clancy, Director of Law Reform, The Law Society of Scotland
Professor Sir David Edward, former Judge of the European Court of Justice
Professor Adam Lazowski, Westminster Law School, University of Westminster
Dr Tobias Lock, Lecturer in EU Law and Co-Director Europa Institute, School of Law, University of Edinburgh
Dr Cormac Mac Amhlaigh, Lecturer in Public Law, University of Edinburgh

3 December 2015 – roundtable with key organisations in Scotland

Official Report 3 December 2015

Alison Cairns, Head of Development, Scottish Council for Voluntary Organisations
Garry Clark, Head of the Economic Development Intelligence Unit,Scottish Chambers of Commerce
Ross Dougal, President, Scottish Fishermen's Federation
Derek Elder, Chairman, Institution of Engineering and Technology
Owen Kelly, Chief Executive, Scottish Financial Enterprise
Helen Martin, Assistant Secretary, Scottish Trades Union Congress
Andrew McCornick, Vice President, National Farmers Union Scotland
Andy Myles, Advocacy Officer, Scottish Environment Link
Serafin Pazos-Vidal, Head of Brussels Office, Convention of Scottish Local Authorities
Alastair Sim, Director, Universities Scotland

Written evidence from witnesses:

19 November 2015 – with Scottish MEPs

Official Report 19 November 2015

David Coburn MEP
Ian Hudghton MEP
Catherine Stihler MEP
Dr Ian Duncan MEP (via video conference)


In addition, the Committee also issued a call for testimones from people living in Scotland on the impact that the EU has had on their lives. The call for testimonies is now closed.

Read call for testimonies

Read the testimonies 


Invitation to the Rt Hon David Lidington MP, Minister of State for Europe, to give evidence to the Committee on EU reform and the EU referendum.

Response from the Rt Hon David Lidington MP, Minister of State for Europe, declining to give evidence to the Committee on EU reform and the EU referendum.

Further invitation to the Rt Hon David Lidington, MP, Minister of State for Europe, to give evidence to the Committee on EU reform and the EU referendum.

Further response from the Rt Hon David LidingtonMP, Minsiter of State for Europe, declining to give evidence to the Committee on EU reform and EU referendum.

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