Rebordering Britain & Britons after Brexit
Applying for Settled Status: Ambivalent and reluctant compliance of EU citizens in post-Brexit Scotland
This article contributes to scholarship concerning the effects of the UK Referendum on EU membership and Brexit on EU citizen rights in the UK (Botterill, McCollum and Tyrrell, 2018; Burrell and Schweyher, 2019; Gawlewicz and Sotkasiira, 2019; Huber, 2019). The paper focuses on applications for, and meanings of, 'settled status' among Polish nationals living in urban and rural Scotland. In particular we argue that the 'simple' act of application produces diverse responses among Polish nationals, characterised by ambivalent and reluctant compliance, with longer term implications for ontological security and sustainable communities. In the paper we present empirical data from the perspectives of three differently positioned individuals to illustrate the heterogenous experience of Polish nationals in Scotland and to demonstrate how pre-existing vulnerabilities and conditions are compounded by the EU settlement scheme. First, we highlight a view of citizenship as 'social contract' through the vignette of Marek who expresses ambivalence about Brexit and for whom the welfare system serves both as a safety net and a space of the undeserving. Second, we reflect on the complex bureaucratic process of gaining citizenship for a family, through the vignette of Monika. Finally, we consider how form filling is an anxious act of validating oneself and questioning one's belonging to place with longer term effects on ontological insecurity, through the vignette of Weronika. We conclude by offering a set of recommendations for Scottish policy on intercultural communication, integration and sustainable communities that, in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic, is ever more significant.
You might also be interested in :
‘Scotland's different’: Narratives of Scotland's distinctiveness in the post-Brexit-vote era
While Scotland has been portrayed as an outlier in the context of Brexit, we know relatively little about how ordinary people in Scotland, including a growing migrant population, make sense of this (political and media) narrative. In order to address this gap…
‘You get a better life here’: social in/security and migration in a time of geopolitical transformations
This paper is not about Brexit and yet it is.
Scotland and Brexit: Identity, Belonging and Citizenship in uncertain times
This article offers some reflections on the lessons readers might take from the papers in this special issue. These are framed through consideration of three key themes: Scottishness, nationhood and national identity; the search for belonging…