Skip to main content
Rebordering Britain & Britons after Brexit

Do they need to integrate? The place of EU citizens in the UK and the problem of integration

Abstract

This article aims to provide empirical evidence against the theory and practice of immigrant integration through the experience of EU citizens in the UK around Brexit. We demonstrate that, in the case of EU citizens, the outcomes of presumably successful “integration” have been achieved while - and, we argue, because of the fact that - EU citizens have been treated as citizens (not migrants) and have been freed from the requirement to “integrate”. On the basis of interviews, focus groups and a survey in the period 2016-18 we show meaningful incorporation of a variety of EU citizens of all backgrounds, including those from the so-called “low-skilled” presumably problematic to integrate subgroup. We claim that work, family, locality and time determine much of the intricacies of the incorporation journey. Integration governance which Brexit imposed on EU citizens can only threaten these outcomes.

You might also be interested in :

“It was the photograph of the little boy”: reflections on the Syrian Vulnerable Persons Resettlement Programme in the UK
This article examines the “Syrian Vulnerable Persons Resettlement Programme” (SVPRP) as a specific British response to the “European refugee crisis”. Based on an analysis of media reporting (2014–17) and empirical evidence from agencies and volunteers tasked with implementing the programme…
Brexit, British People of Colour in the EU-27 and everyday racism in Britain and Europe
This paper foregrounds an understanding of Brexit as unexceptional, as business as usual in Britain and Europe. It reports on original empirical research with British People of Colour who have settled elsewhere in Europe…
Intergenerational narratives of citizenship among EU citizens in the UK after the Brexit referendum
The share of British naturalization applications by EU citizens increased in the aftermath of the 2016 EU referendum. This article offers unique insights into the range of motivations informing decisions to become British or not among EU families from new and old EU member states.
Towards a new politics of migration?
This paper reconsiders Stephen Castle's classic paper Why Migration Policies Fail. Beginning with the so-called migration crisis of 2015 it considers the role of numbers is assessing success or failure. It argues that in the UK public debates about immigration changed with European Union (EU)…

Journal

ETHNIC AND RACIAL STUDIES

Authors

Nevena Nancheva (United Kingdom)
Ronald Ranta (United Kingdom)

Article meta

Country / region covered

Population studied

Year of Publication

Source type

Keywords