Skip to main content
Rebordering Britain & Britons after Brexit

S2 E5 What can we learn about what British and EU citizenship from Brexit?

14 Oct 2022

As people find themselves queueing up at border controls in EU member states, as their passports are stamped, there have been questions about why these things are happening. It’s all because of Brexit, and more specifically, the end of free movement between the UK and EU which means that British citizens are no longer EU citizens. But what do you know about EU citizenship is and isn’t?

In this episode we’re joined by Nando Sigona, Professor in International Migration and Forced Displacement at the University of Birmingham, to talk Brexit, EU citizenship and what this makes visible about British citizenship. Michaela’s explainer offers a whirlwind tour of EU citizenship from the Maastricht Treaty to Brexit, highlighting its emergence in the context of ambitions for European integration and considering what the loss of EU citizenship means for British citizens and their families. George experiences déjà vu as he uncovers how some politicians and parliamentarians in the UK responded to the idea of EU citizenship when it was mooted in 1992. And Nando helps us unpack what we can learn about citizenship from looking at Brexit as a political transition, its impacts on the lives of EU citizens living in the UK but also considering this in the context of racialised bordering practices, past and present, in the UK and EU.

You can access the full transcripts for each episode over on the Rebordering Britain and Britons after Brexit website.

In this episode we cover …

  1. The Maastricht Treaty, EU citizenship
  2. Freedom of Movement
  3. Brexit and EU citizens


In a sense Brexit was a laboratory for seeing the redefinition and rewriting of citizenship in action but was not new in itself, actually there is almost an institutional memory of how to do these kind of things in the case of Britain.

— Nando Sigona

Find out more about …

Nando and his work here, follow him on Twitter, read his book Within and beyond citizenship

EU families and Eurochildren research

Institute for Research into Refugees, International Migration and Superdiversity

Rebordering Britain and Britons after Brexit research

This episode’s primary source for Back to the Archive

Michaela’s work Brexit and British citizens in the EU including her paper with Chantelle Lewis

Call to action

Follow the podcast on major podcasting platforms or through our RSS Feed.

Follow us on Twitter, Instagram or Facebook.