Following a referendum on Thursday 23 June 2016 to decide whether the UK should leave or remain in the European Union (EU), more than 30 million people turned out to vote, with a majority of 51.9% choosing to leave (a.k.a ‘Brexit’).

Prime Minister Theresa May triggered Article 50 on 29 March 2017, beginning the two year process of leaving the EU:

Why this is important to the third sector in Scotland

SCVO and its members believe that the EU has broadly been good for Scotland and Scotland’s third sector. We support measures to ensure that the many protections we currently enjoy are not jeopardised – read our full briefing on what Brexit is likely to mean for the third sector.

A delegation of representatives from Scottish third sector organisations visited Brussels in May 2017 to engage with the institutions of the EU, to make the sector’s voice heard, let hosts know that Scotland’s third sector is overwhelmingly pro-European and making clear the frustration at the lack of space for civil society in the ongoing debate.

What our colleagues are saying

Europe and the third sector blogs

James Cant

Brexit is a big deal for medical research

Brexit is a big deal for all of us. Right from the start it’s been a hugely complex issue – and that was before the General Election.  Whether we look at it as private citizens or through the prisms of our professional interests there is no doubt that it will be one of the biggest […]

19th Jun, 2017

Marion Macleod

Brexit – what it might mean for Scotland’s children

Children’s organisations in Scotland, and across the UK, are seriously concerned that Brexit may adversely affect the rights and wellbeing of children and young people. Child protection has been strengthened by binding European legislation, including laws against trafficking of children, child abduction, forced migration, sexual exploitation and the capacity to pursue criminal proceedings against those […]

5th Jun, 2017

Heather Noller

Links with Europe vital for carer campaigning

Like many working in public affairs, I’m guilty of trotting out lots of statistics to support my organisation’s policy objectives and calls to action. There are 759,000 unpaid carers in Scotland, and on top of that there are the hidden carers that we can’t measure through the Census. I appreciate the number more than the […]

30th May, 2017

Jackie Brock

Rights and protections must remain following Brexit

On the radio last week a group of ‘Remainers’ were asked if they would vote in the General Election for parties promising a second EU referendum. It was interesting. Most said “no” – their line being: the vote has been decided, we need to proceed and exit. This must give those who are dismayed by […]

24th May, 2017

Iain Gordon

It’s all about relationships!

The UK is leaving the EU. UK citizens and organisations risk losing access to all of the progressive policy initiatives and social advances that have been hard-won over decades of EU membership. What can we do mitigate the risk? That was the question at the forefront of our minds when, as a group of Scottish […]

23rd May, 2017

Craig Wilson

SCVO: Le voyage à Bruxelles

Having learned most of my French from ‘Allo ‘Allo, I’m afraid the title above will be the beginning and the end of the use of the language in this blog piece – which details a recent third sector delegation to Brussels. Led by SCVO, a diverse delegation of Scottish third sector organisations (comprising those with […]

22nd May, 2017

John Downie

Brexit and the Third Sector – will we have a place in Europe?

As the unedifying spectacle that is UK general election continues to depress us with its stage managed press conferences and lack of genuine debate, you have to question the state of our democracy. It’s even more depressing if you start thinking of it in the context of Brexit. Ahead of a Scottish third sector visit […]

10th May, 2017

Ruth Boyle

There’s more to Brexit than business, just ask the third sector

Until charities have a strong voice in Brexit discussions, the vulnerable will remain voiceless

20th Oct, 2016

Alison Cairns

UK & EU’s date with destiny is set

Alison on why you might have missed Cameron's EU deal

22nd Feb, 2016



Interested in engaging with others in the third sector interested in the topics above? Join the ‘Brexit and Scotland’s Third Sector’ group on the Knowledge Hub. You can contribute to an intelligence sharing platform and knowledge base, vote and submit your ideas on the Brexit negotiations, find out about upcoming events and watch livestreams of previous meetings.

Further reading below:

European Network

SCVO has a long and active history with the European Union and European civil society. We work with our partners and networks across Europe on areas of mututal interest. Find out more about our work.

Click here to take Civil Society Europe and CIVICUS’ annual survey to map out key trends on civic space in Europe over the last year.