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Rebordering Britain & Britons after Brexit

EU post-accession Polish migrants trajectories and their settlement practices in Scotland


The presence and the apparent permanence of post-accession EU migrants in the UK is of significant interest to both academics and politicians. Studies have debated whether migration from new accession countries to the UK mark a new type of migration often described as liquid' and open ended', or whether these migrants will settle in the new destination countries. Based on a qualitative study of Poles who have lived in Scotland for at least six years, we observed four typologies of what we call migrants' settling practices: (1) stayers, (2) over-stayers, (3) circular and transnational migrants and (4) economic migrants. The findings from this study demonstrate that Polish migrants do not have fixed ideas about the duration of their migration (in terms of a sense of permanence) but instead focus on diverse links, anchors or attachments in Scotland and Poland in describing their settling practices. Thus, the main contribution the article makes is to present an in-depth understanding of what settlement means from the perspective of migrants themselves. This paper concludes by providing a short comment on implications of the outcome of the Referendum on EU membership Brexit' in June 2016 on Polish migrants settling practices.

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Journal of Ethnic and Migration Studies


Emilia Pietka-Nykaza (United Kingdom)
Derek McGhee (United Kingdom)

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