EU Exit (Brexit)

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

We are now in a transition period (also known as the implementation period) until 31 December 2020 and from 01 January 2021 our new relationship with the EU will begin.

As the UK Government (UKG) remains in negotiation with the EU, many of the details of what changes will take place are not yet known. 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 for transport negotiations 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.

Transport Scotland continues to press the UKG to ensure that Scottish interests are represented at the trade deal negotiations.

Effects on movement of goods

Regardless of the outcome of the current trade deal negotiations with the UKG and the EU, the UK will 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. On 8 October the UKG published its Borders Operating Model, a guide to how the border with the EU will work after the transition period.

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, international haulier requirements, pet transport and passport arrangements. These requirements may be subject to change so you are encouraged to check back regularly.


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

Transport Scotland is working with Dumfries & Galloway Local Resilience Partnership to mitigate the traffic impact in their area, the most likely to be affected. Traffic monitoring and plans to deal with more significant “overflow” of HGV traffic are being put in place. These measures will include the provision of adequate welfare facilities for hauliers.