Rebordering Britain & Britons after Brexit
Diaspora Policies, Consular Services and Social Protection for UK Citizens Abroad
Despite having one of the largest diaspora in the world, the United Kingdom peculiarly has no diaspora engagement policy to speak of. Policy, not legal right, underpins consular affairs and social protection policies are extremely limited. Such absence stems from a lack of distinctive British national identity in large part due to the UK being multi-national state, a heterogonous and typically prosperous diaspora driven by lifestyle migration, and in turn the assumption that Britons living abroad do not want or need to engage with the homeland state. Policy towards Britons residing abroad is characterised by limited engagement but effective communication leading to a disengaged state that keeps the dialogue open. Whilst social protection policies are rudimentary, the state is a world leader in providing online information in preparing British emigrants for living overseas. Voting rights of overseas citizens (namely the 15 year residency requirement) has and will continue to be a contentious issue following Brexit − and one subject to change − as has pension inflation adjustment. As the effects of Brexit on Britons residing abroad come to fruition, the politics of social protection and the rights of Britons residing abroad will be an imperative issue on the political agenda.
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