Brexit information for residents and businesses

The United Kingdom is in political discussions to leave the European Union (EU), commonly known as Brexit, after the referendum in 2016.

More information on the 2016 EU Referendum and the result in the Scottish Borders is available in our Election Results section.

Information for residents

The UK Government has an agreement with the EU that will protect the rights of non-UK EU citizens and their family members living in the UK after Brexit.

The EU Settlement Scheme opened on 30 March 2019 and enables non-UK EU nationals to register to stay and work in the UK. Although the EU Settlement Scheme will be open until 30 June 2021 if the UK leaves the EU with a deal, it will only be open until December 2020 if there is no deal. You must apply before the scheme closes if you wish to remain in the UK.

Information and support is available from:

The application process is online.

Anyone needing help with the EU Settlement Scheme may be able to access support locally through Citizens Advice Bureau.

Digital support for those that do not have the appropriate access, skills or confidence to complete the online form can only by accessed through a national referral process.

To access this support:

  • Phone: 03333 445 675
  • Or text the word “VISA” to 07537 416 944

This service is available Monday to Friday 9am to 6pm and Saturday 9am to 4pm.

Information for businesses

Businesses in the Scottish Borders should prepare as fully as they can for Brexit.

NFU Scotland and VisitScotland have produced informationand advice for businesses in the agriculture and tourism sectors respectively.

If you have employees from the EU, please download the Stay in Scotland Guide for Employers. A toolkit including posters and leaflets is also available.

A Brexit Support Grant, funded by the Scottish Government, has been introduced for VAT registered small to medium sized enterprise. Further details on eligibility for the grant, which can be for up to £4k, is available on the Prepare for Brexit website.

Businesses are advised to make use of the online Brexit business planning tool delivered by Scottish Enterprise and partners. Further information is also available from the UK Government.

You can also register your interest in receiving more specific business advice through our Business Gateway service, as and when there is clarity regarding the detail of the UK’s exit from the EU.

General information

The UK Government has prepared a wide range of information online regarding Brexit for the public and businesses, including on visiting the EU after Brexit.

The Scottish Government has also developed an information page on Brexit which provides a wide range of advice and links to further information.

Guidance on how to prepare for Brexit in a ‘no deal’ scenario has also been produced by the UK Government.

Our planning approach

Due to the ongoing uncertainty at a national level over the exact detail of the UK’s exit from the EU we are planning for all eventualities.

This planning is led by the dedicated Brexit Response Team, with oversight by our Corporate Management Team. Elected Members are also regularly updated regarding our Brexit plans.

We are working with partners and national organisations to ensure that we are as well equipped as possible, and take action where required, to minimise any potential disruption to our services and to the public generally.

We are focussing on the potential immediate and short term impacts of Brexit, principally how they could affect our services, capacity to carry out our various responsibilities and also areas where we have a duty of care.

A comprehensive report on our Brexit planning was given to a meeting of the full Council on 29 November, and the contribution of EU nationals to the area has been recognised in a statement by the Convener.

More specific information and advice for Borderers will be published on this page as and when that is available.