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Brexit - links to key information

Last updated: 19 Feb 2020

The UK has left the EU. There is now a transition period until the end of 2020 while the UK and EU negotiate additional arrangements. The current rules on trade, travel, and business for the UK and EU will continue to apply during the transition period. New rules will take effect on 1 January 2021.

As negotiations between the UK and the EU progress towards this deadline, and future trade deals with other countries are discussed, the flow of information about the many complexities of our future relationship with both the EU and the rest of the world, is likely to increase. To help keep in touch with the process and the advice being published, we have created this page to link to relevant information.

Creative Scotland's position

Creative Scotland’s position is that working internationally is key to ensuring that Scotland remains a successful and distinctive creative nation connected to the world. We will continue support artists to take their work overseas and showcase Scotland’s creativity at festivals and cultural events across globe, alongside supporting the presentation of international work here in Scotland.

Creative Scotland also hosts the Scotland office of Creative Europe Desk UK, the contact point for the EU’s Creative Europe funding programme and a partnership led by BFI and British Council with Arts Council England, Creative Scotland and Welsh Government. Creative Europe Desk UK-Scotland provides free information and advice to Scottish creative, cultural and heritage organisations on Creative Europe projects, partnerships and applications. The office also signposts to information on other EU funding programmes such as Erasmus Plus, Europe for Citizens and Horizon 2020.

Creative Scotland shares the real concerns amongst the cultural community in Scotland as to the impact that leaving the EU will have on their work and the ability of artists to exchange ideas and practise. We have discussed these matters with the Scottish Government and in UK Government forums.

A survey undertaken by the Federation of Scottish Theatre and Scottish Contemporary Art Network further underlines the findings from our own research conducted in 2016, immediately after the EU referendum, which highlighted the cultural sector’s concerns about the negative impact that leaving the EU will have.

The latest on the EU Exit

For the latest information on the EU Exit, we have listed pages which are frequently updated with the latest information for the sector:


UK Government

Scottish Government

European Commission

Creative Europe Desk UK

Arts Councils

Sector-specific information

Here we have listed pages relevant for specific sectors relating to EU Exit issues. Please contact us if you have an active webpage you think should be listed here.

Other resources

We have also compiled short summaries of existing information in the following areas:

Policy and positioning

Please take into consideration the date of publication of these documents when reading the following.

EU funding for culture and creativity

The UK’s Participation in current EU programmes (2014 – 2020)

On 31 January 2020 the UK left the EU. As guaranteed by the Withdrawal Agreement, a legislative act passed by both UK and European Parliaments and ratified by the EU Commission and the UK Government, UK organisations can continue to apply to EU funding programmes until the current programmes end in December 2020.

EU funding contracts awarded during or prior to this implementation period will cover the entire duration of the project, including for projects that continue after 1 January 2021.

This includes EU funding programmes such as Creative Europe, Erasmus Plus, Europe for Citizens, Horizon 2020, and Interreg.

From 31 December 2020

Participation in some EU funding programmes (2021 – 2027), including Creative Europe, Erasmus Plus, Horizon 2020 and Interreg is possible as a non-EU member state. However, this will have to be negotiated between the UK and the EU. The UK Government recently stated that:

The UK is ready to consider participation in certain EU programmes, once the EU has agreed the baseline in its 2021-2027 Multiannual Financial Framework, and taking into account the overall value to the UK of doing so.”

For more information specifically about the EU’s Creative Europe programme, you can read the latest information on Creative Europe from Creative Europe Desk UK. Read more about current Creative Europe projects led by, or involving, Scottish partners. Creative Europe Desk UK can provide guidance on all of this as part of their usual advice on applications, so get in touch. You can also sign up to their newsletter for updates.

Europe as a market

Scottish Enterprise (in partnership with HIE, Business Gateway, SDI and SDS) have developed a portal to support businesses who trade into mainland Europe, including a checklist for businesses. As part of this portal, the Scottish Government has also funded a Brexit Support Grant to help small to medium-sized enterprises in Scotland manage a wide range of Brexit impacts.

The UK Government has also published a series of papers that relate to the possible changes from 31 December 2020.


From 1 January 2021, the UK Government states that you will need to make customs declarations to move goods into and out of the EU. You should:

Workforce and migration

EU citizens living in Scotland

On 5 April 2019, the Scottish Government launched the Stay in Scotland campaign. EU citizens living in Scotland are to be supported to remain in Scotland during and beyond the uncertainty associated with an EU exit. This includes support and advice on staying in the UK after Brexit at Citizens Advice Scotland.

Living and working in the EU

Living and working in an EU country depends on the rules in that country. You may need to register or apply for residency. You should check that you’re covered for healthcare. You may also need to exchange your UK driving licence for a licence issued by the EU country where you live. Check what you must do in the country where you live.

Future migration policy

The UK Government published in late December a Migration White Paper that sets out the post-Brexit approach to migration.

The UK Government works with the independent Migration Advisory Committee (MAC), an independent, non-statutory, non-time limited, non-departmental public body that advises the government on migration issues. See reports published by the MAC.

Also see analysis of the Migration White Paper by the Creative Industries Federation.