Brexit—implications for Scotland
Produced in partnership with Roy Martin QC and Denis Edwards of Terra Firma Chambers
Brexit—implications for Scotland

The following Public Law guidance note Produced in partnership with Roy Martin QC and Denis Edwards of Terra Firma Chambers provides comprehensive and up to date legal information covering:

  • Brexit—implications for Scotland
  • Scotland's constitutional arrangements
  • Powers of the Scottish Parliament and the Scottish Government
  • The Scottish Parliament and EU Law
  • Brexit and the Scottish Parliament
  • A new relationship between Scotland and the EU

This Practice Note discusses the legal implications for Scotland of the UK exiting the EU. Specific implications arise, in particular, from the UK’s arrangements for the devolution of legislative and executive powers to the Scottish Parliament and the Scottish Government under the Scotland Act 1998 (SA 1998), as amended progressively (primarily to increase legislative and taxation powers) by the Scotland Act 2012 (SA 2012) and the Scotland Act 2016 (SA 2016) (together, the Scotland Acts).

For details of key events and the latest updates on this subject, see our Practice Note: Brexit timeline.

Scotland's constitutional arrangements

The starting point is that the position of Scotland in what is now the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland has its constitutional foundation in the Act of Union between Scotland and England. Although devolution has re-ordered its internal governance, the position of the UK as a single and continuing sovereign State has not been affected by the enactment of the Scotland Acts.

The Scotland Acts confer an extensive range of legislative competences on the Scottish Parliament. The executive competencies of the Scottish Government mirror those of the Scottish Parliament. The Scottish Parliament has competence to pass Acts of the Scottish Parliament on all matters which are not reserved to the UK Parliament by the Scotland Acts, as specified in particular in SA 1998,