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Visit Scotland | Alba

The UK left the European Union on 31 January 2020. This process is often known as 'Brexit'.

We're now in a transition period (also known as the implementation period) that's likely to last until the end of December 2020. This means the UK is currently still following EU rules.

Confused by the transition period and what it means for your business? 

Help is at hand. There’s a lot of information available to help your business and your non-UK European employees. 

Business support

The joint agency ‘Prepare for Brexit’ campaign continues to encourage companies to plan for the end of the transition period in December 2020, helping to increase business and wider economic resilience in the face of significant change.

The campaign provides advice and support to all businesses in Scotland so that you can plan for likely scenarios and ensure continued business growth. 

The Scottish Government's Stay in Scotland campaign toolkit provides employers with some practical suggestions about how you can support your EU employees in the workplace.

Support for non-UK EU Citizens

The contribution of non-UK EU (European Union) workers to Scotland’s tourism industry should be celebrated and reassurances should be given to them about their employment status.

The Scottish tourism sector employ 21,000 EU nationals, accounting for 11.6% of employment in the sector.

Non-UK EU citizens and their families who are resident in the UK by 31 December 2020 will have to apply to the UK Government’s EU Settlement Scheme by 30 June 2021 in order to continue living, working and studying in the UK after that date.

A support and advice service is also available for all citizens living in Scotland affected by the UK Government’s EU Settlement Scheme who may need additional information and support. For more information please call the Citizens Advice Scotland freephone national helpline on 0800 916 9847 or visit

The Scottish Government has produced a toolkit with a range of material for employers and EU citizens. It includes information on the UK Government’s EU Settlement Scheme, details of the application process and requirements and links to other resources. 

Our visitors

Europe provides six out of Scotland’s 10 key markets. In 2018 Europe was the largest international market area for Scotland, with 2.2 million visitors, which equates to 64% of all international visits that year. These visitors generated £1.1 billion of expenditure.

COVID-19 has had a major impact on international travel but the warmth of the welcome is more critical than ever - something our country is so renowned for and will be at the heart of the recovery of Scottish tourism.

Our European visitors are incredibly important to us, so it’s important we help them stay as informed as possible before they visit Scotland.

During the transition period through to the end of December 2020 our advice to visitors is available at

What are we doing?

Through the Brexit Response Steering Group, we are working with key Scottish public sector partners to share insight and advice on how businesses and stakeholders can prepare for the end of the transition period. 

This includes the continued sharing of the Prepare for Brexit toolkit with businesses we work with, The Scottish Tourism Alliance and UK Hospitality. 

We are also a member of the Culture, Tourism and Major Events Reference Group, convened by Mike Russell MSP, Cabinet Secretary for Government Business and Constitutional Relation. The Group comprises key stakeholders from across tourism, culture and heritage sectors. 

The focus of the group post 31 January 2020 is to ensure that the strong and productive relationships we have across Europe continue. 

We are also involved in a Scottish Government led communications group and have shared lines and insight as part of plans for providing public information. 

Europe, let’s continue our love affair

The successful Scotland is Open campaign was re-run from 31 January 2020 with a simple, powerful message: “Europe, let’s continue our love affair”. It reinforces Scotland’s reputation as a world-class place for people to live, work, visit, study and do business, specifically targeted at key European markets.

Our ask of you... Our heartfelt love letter to Europe is a simple one: Scotland has a message for you Europe, from the bottom of our hearts, Scotland is open to you. Our businesses, our universities, our beautiful country and our warm people welcome you.

We remain committed to being a country for Europeans to come live, work, study, visit and do business with. To help us share this message we have several tools in our Scotland is Open Toolkit for you to download and use on your communication channels.

These include:

  • A 30 second and six second film for download (16:9 Versions available with English, French, German and Spanish subtitles plus 1:1 version for social platforms with English subtitles)
  • Campaign imagery
  • Social media tiles
  • Campaign information

Each version of our film is also available on our Scotland is Now Youtube channel. Please help us tell Europe that Scotland wants to continue our love affair with them.

Supporting Non-UK EU staff

Our staff base comprises 12% Non-UK EU nationals, working in a number of locations and variety of jobs – we are proud of the contribution they make to our organisation.

We are committed to fully engaging with, and supporting our non-UK EU staff who will be affected by Brexit.  The implications of Brexit also mean that we need to consider what actions we must take as a business to continue to attract and retain talent regardless of nationality – the fact is that the EU provides us with a valuable pool of talent and we need to do what we can to continue that trend.

We encourage all businesses to work with and support their Non-UK EU staff in order to retain dedicated and skilled workers.

Contact us

If you have any issues regarding Brexit you would like to discuss with us please email