Head of State

First Minister

Queen Elizabeth II (since February 1952)

Nicola Sturgeon (Scottish National Party, since November 2014)

Population 5,438,000 (2018)
Size 78,789 km² (30,420 sq. miles)
MEPs 6 (joined the EU in 1973 as part of the UK)
Next legislative election 2021
Presidency of the Council None
Last meeting with Boris Johnson 29 July 2019
Brexit priorities The Scottish government believes Westminster refuses to consider Scotland’s vote to stay in the EU and wants to fight to stay in the single market. The 2017 general election showed limited support for Theresa May’s “hard Brexit”, however also told the SNP there is not a big appetite for a second independence referendum, which Mrs Sturgeon often threatened Westminster with if she did not get certain guarantees on Brexit.

Scotland voted overwhelmingly to say in the EU and will try to soften the UK’s Brexit position following the general election in which the Conservatives lost its majority. Scotland wants to reduce the costs of leaving the EU to a minimum, which is why it also voted against the UK Government’s proposal to trigger Article 50.

Scotland is a member of the joint ministerial committee that coordinates the relationships between Downing Street and the devolved administrations and functions as a platform for discussing all matters related to Brexit.

What Mrs Sturgeon said on Brexit “I have been very clear that we have to make sure that Scotland’s interests are protected and I want to examine every option of doing that.”

“This raises fundamental issues above and beyond that of EU membership. Is Scotland content for our future to be dictated by an increasingly rightwing Westminster government with just one MP here, or is it better that we take our future into our own hands? It is becoming ever clearer that this is a choice that Scotland must make.”

“No sign whatsoever that the UK government is taking Scotland’s position remotely seriously.”

“So far, the Tories’ words on respecting Scotland’s voice and the UK being a partnership of equals have amounted to nothing more than empty rhetoric.”

“This Holyrood debate is a chance for our national parliament to reaffirm the voice of the people of Scotland and make clear that, as a nation, we oppose the catastrophic hard Brexit now being pursued by the Tories at Westminster.”

Scotland’s priorities Scotland will continue to pressure Theresa May for a bigger say on the final Brexit deal, however the SNP’s push for a second independence referendum may be tempered due to the loss it suffered in the general election. The party lost 21 of the 56 seats it won in 2015.

The Government wants to improve education by closing the attainment gap in schools.

The fight against austerity and growth of the economy are also priorities for this Government as it tries to navigate the volatility of oil prices.

While managing its new powers over income tax, the Scottish Government also wants to introduce tougher climate change targets and expand on childcare.