EU Exit (Brexit)

The United Kingdom (UK) left the European Union (EU) on 31 January 2020. This process is often known as 'Brexit'.

The transition period (also known as the implementation period) ends on 31 December 2020 and from 01 January 2021 our new relationship with the EU begins.

This page gives the latest facts, but it will be updated as more details are confirmed. Please keep checking back for new information.

Transport objectives

Scottish Ministers’ clear objective is to retain the high levels of international connectivity Scotland enjoys with the EU and the Rest of the World, whilst adding as little as possible additional costs or administrative burdens for operators.

Effects on movement of goods

The UK will now operate a full, external border as a sovereign nation. This means that controls will be placed on the movement of goods between Great Britain and the EU.

The UKG has published a Borders Operating Model, a guide to how the border with the EU will work from 1 January 2021.

Also see guidance on the UKG site on moving goods into, out of, or through Northern Ireland from 1 January 2021.

Changes for business and citizens

There are new rules for businesses and citizens from 1 January 2021, which will include travel requirements to access the EU. The UKG website provides current guidance for businesses and citizens, including information on requirements for driving to or within the EU, pet transport and passport arrangements.

There are also new requirements for international haulage (details can be found on the UKG website).


Transport Scotland has developed plans to minimise the impact on traffic flow on our roads and at our ports, resulting from possible delays caused by additional border checks at Scottish Ports.

We have worked with Dumfries & Galloway Local Resilience Partnership to mitigate the traffic impact in their area, the most likely to be affected. A contingency plan for any potential disruption, Operation Overflow, has now been put in place. The plan includes the provision of adequate welfare facilities for hauliers.