Skip to main content
Rebordering Britain & Britons after Brexit

‘Brexit’ and the Scots in England: A diaspora facing uncertainty?


Brexit has brought many uncertainties, including the future position of UK-based EU migrants. Our concern is with a much less studied group, albeit one of the largest socio-political sub-groups within England - the Scots. These are migrants who live in a different country but within the same state and recent constitutional decision making has not been kind to them. In 2014, English based Scots had no vote in the independence referendum and in the EU referendum they witnessed Scotland voting significantly differently to England, resulting in ongoing tensions between the UK and Scottish Governments. If Brexit leads to another independence referendum, what are the implications for Scots in England, in terms of their citizenship, identity, and residence in a very different (r)UK? We explore their status in a (r)UK outside the EU, we speculate on whether some might move back or whether, if they remain, they would experience hostility within post-Brexit England. Might the current position of the English Scots tell us something about the future relationship between England and Scotland?

You might also be interested in :

Brexit, Europe and othering
The UK has seen, within recent years, a noticeable increase in Euroscepticism, culminating in the vote to leave the European Union altogether. Although there were many reasons for the Brexit vote, the UK, in common with some other EU countries…
Scotland and Brexit: Citizenship, Identity and Belonging
This article is the editorial introduction to the Special Issue of Scottish Affairs on Scotland and Brexit: Citizenship, Identity and Belonging. Here we outline the key themes and concerns of the Special Issue and contextualise the various contributions that follow.
Stay or go? Roma, Brexit and European freedom of movement
The spectre of Brexit has raised issues of concern for Roma communities living and working in Scotland and other parts of the UK. The effective ending of freedom of movement has produced new uncertainties and insecurities for people living outside their EU countries of origin…
Uncharted waters: The social and equality impacts of Brexit
This research provides an overview of the potential social impacts of Brexit on individuals and communities in Scotland. It complements economic analyses of Brexit, which tend to focus on impacts on businesses, the economy and GDP.


Scottish Affairs


Murray Stewart Leith (United Kingdom)
Duncan Sim (United Kingdom)

Article meta

Country / region covered

Population studied

Year of Publication

Source type