How Does Brexit Affect How to Move to Scotland?

How Does Brexit Affect How to Move to Scotland
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Scotland’s decision to exit the European Union was finalised on December 31, 2020. This exit from the largest global single market due to Brexit has ceased its freedom of movement, leading to shortages in the healthcare, agriculture, and hospitality industries. 

Both individuals and enterprises are faced with a cost of living dilemma triggered by soaring food prices. Additionally, the presence of trade obstacles hinders seamless EU imports and exports, contributing to wasted produce and heightened trade complexities.

When Did Scotland Depart from the EU?

In the 2016 referendum, Scotland voted 62% to 38% in favour of remaining in the European Union, mainly due to immigration concerns.  The UK’s decision to exit the EU displayed a clear North-South divide. However, following the UK’s path, Scotland officially exited the EU on January 31, 2020, and conclusively on December 31, 2020, marking the conclusion of the transition period.

Assessing the Effects of Brexit in Scotland

Commemorating seven years since the majority of Scots voted to stay in the EU, a paper has been issued detailing Brexit’s impact. The findings include:

  • Anticipated annual loss of £3 billion in public funds for Scotland.
  • Brexit contributed to a 45-year peak in food price increases, about a third of the total.
  • Brexit is named as the main reason for trading issues overseas by 44% of Scottish businesses.
  • Trade barriers lead to potential added costs of around £600 per delivery for some shellfish exporters.
  • Loss of freedom of movement is causing staff shortages, as reported by 45% of tourism businesses in the Highlands and Islands.
  • Exclusion from essential funds like the €96 billion Horizon research programme and Common Agriculture Policy.
  • Less effective collaboration in law enforcement without prompt EU-wide alerts, intelligence sharing, and civil justice cooperation
  • More expensive and complicated travel, including extended delays, challenges for touring artists, and renewed roaming charges by most providers.

Looking at Other Brexit Effects on Scotland’s immigration regulations and business environment

Here are the Brexit effects on Scotland ;

The Vital Role of Immigration in Scotland’s Workforce

Recognising the vital role immigration plays in Scotland’s workforce, it’s important to address the reasons behind the majority of Scots choosing to remain in the EU. The ageing population and its implications underscore the significance of immigrants. As Brexit unfolds, apprehensions arise about the potential consequences for this workforce.

Forecasts indicate that in the next two decades, only a third of the Scottish population will be of working age, intensifying the importance of immigration. While efforts are being made to mitigate these potential impacts, the role of immigration in Scotland’s workforce remains integral.

Effects on Current Immigrants

For current EU residents living in Scotland, timely application to the EU Settlement Scheme (with a deadline of June 30, 2021) became imperative to secure continued residency and employment. Notably, the application process, once chargeable, has now been made free, and the Scottish government is providing support to facilitate this transition.

Prospects for Future Immigrants Post-Brexit

Considering those who will arrive in Scotland from the EU post-Brexit, obtaining Euro Temporary Leave to Remain is the requisite course for a stay of up to 36 months. Extension of this stay mandates a reapplication.

Implications of a No-Deal Scenario

In a scenario where a no-deal outcome materialises, the government has outlined potential consequences; however, a cloud of uncertainty persists. Immigrants are encouraged to seek guidance from UK immigration lawyers to navigate these intricate waters and ensure comprehensive protection.

The concerns surrounding Brexit’s implications for Scotland’s immigration policies are palpable. However, concerted measures are underway to safeguard the interests of existing immigrants and the broader landscape.

Post-Brexit Impact on Living Expenses in Scotland

It’s essential to factor in the effects of Brexit on the cost of living, especially for those relocating from other countries to Scotland. The pound’s substantial fluctuation due to the UK’s departure from the EU has significantly influenced expenses. 

This change has caused living costs in the UK to surge. Those planning to move to Scotland should anticipate elevated prices across essentials like housing and groceries. Additionally, the UK’s higher tax rate compared to the US will contribute to overall living expenses. 

It’s important to note that incorporating the council tax, similar to the property tax, covering water, electricity, and waste collection, will further increase rent and mortgage costs. 

Visiting Scotland Post-Brexit: Visa Requirements and Entry Documentation 

For EU, EEA, and Swiss citizens, a visa isn’t necessary for visits up to 6 months in the UK. Irish citizens can travel visa-free, unaffected by Brexit changes. However, other non-EU nationals might need a standard visitor visa. Read more on tips for successful visa application.

What’s Required for Entering Scotland After the UK’s EU Departure? 

A valid passport is essential for entry into the UK. Ensure your passport remains valid during your stay. Border officials may request proof of your tourist intent, such as a hotel reservation. Irish citizens can continue using their national ID cards, provided they remain valid during their UK stay.


As Scotland navigates its post-Brexit path, uncertainties abound for those considering relocation. Brexit’s sway on Scotland’s immigration policies and living costs prompts careful consideration. Navigating visa requirements and entry documentation adds another layer of complexity. Despite challenges, measures are in place to safeguard immigrants’ interests, ensuring a measured transition to the new landscape.

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