Skip to main content
Rebordering Britain & Britons after Brexit

Brexit and the stratified uses of national and European Union citizenship


In this article the authors explore how Brexit changes the social meanings and uses of formal national and EU citizenship and how these meanings and uses are stratified, including by migratory experience, class and age. They do so through in-depth interviews with Britons in Belgium, EU27 citizens ‘by birth’ residing in the UK, and Bangladeshis who naturalised in Italy before moving to the UK. The article highlights the differences both between the three groups and within the groups, along lines of class and age, in the expectations regarding rights linked to citizenship, in the salience of different rights (e.g. freedom of movement, access to welfare, voting), and in the availability of alternative resources to contain the impact of Brexit. The authors argue that the Brexit process not only highlights the value of citizenship as well as the added value of a citizenship of an EU member state, but that it also reveals how the value of citizenships is internally stratified. © The Author(s) 2021.

You might also be interested in :

Brexit as a Trigger and an Obstacle to Onwards and Return Migration
In this article, using in-depth interviews with EU27 citizens residing in the UK and Britons residing in Belgium, I analyse the role of the Brexit process as both a trigger of and an obstacle to onward and return migration.
Expectations, imaginaries and projects of mobility and immobility in the framework of Brexit
Starting from two researches, respectively with citizens since birth of EU27 states citizens in the UK, and with Bangladeshis who have naturalized in Italy and moved to the UK, in this article we explore the ways in which Brexit is redefining the mobility plans between the UK and the rest of the EU.
Moral regulation and a good moral panic: UK Polish migrant workers and the 2016 EU Referendum
The UK 2016 EU Referendum has introduced a period of uncertainty for both the indigenous population and for non-British citizens. This uncertainty is considered within a framework of the recent revisions in the sociology of moral panics through an analysis of interviews with Polish migrant workers.
Unequal Europe, unequal Brexit: How intra-European inequalities shape the unfolding and framing of Brexit
This article argues that focusing on intra-European inequalities is key to a deeper understanding of the Brexit process, as the impacts of the Brexit process on core-periphery inequalities within Europe and on intra-European migrations remain under-researched topics. Focusing on sociology…


Current Sociology

Article meta

Country / region covered

Populations studied

Year of Publication

Source type