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Rebordering Britain & Britons after Brexit

Acts of European citizenship: how Britons resident in France have been negotiating post-Brexit futures


On 23 June 2016 a referendum decided that the United Kingdom (UK) would leave the European Union (EU) - a process popularly termed 'Brexit'.

Withdrawal from the EU will revoke Britons of EU citizenship and its associated rights. For many Britons living in France, Brexit has brought uncertainty over their future rights and lives, with little assurance from the UK Government.

This article argues that Brexit is a moment of rupture in taken-for-granted ideas about citizenship.

Drawing on interviews and ethnographic research among Britons in France, the article examines how they have been responding to Brexit through `acts of citizenship'. It demonstrates how Britons behave as active citizens, activist citizens and consumer-citizens, who variously follow and write scripts as they make claims to future rights and lives in France. The boundaries between these subject positions are increasingly blurred as citizenship is negotiated. The article thus draws links between Brexit, everyday lives and geographical understandings of citizenship.

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Fiona Ferbrache (United Kingdom)

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