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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.

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