Rebordering Britain & Britons after Brexit
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. Given the loss of rights and, for the Italo-Bangladeshi, the emergence of further obstacles to onward migration projects, the interviewees plan different strategies to safeguard their rights, and mobility rights in particular. EU27 citizens in the UK are divided between plans of return migration or migration towards other EU countries and/or the acquisition of UK citizenship. For the Italo-Bangladeshis the possible options include returning to Italy, moving to another European country or within the UK, or the acquisition of UK citizenship. The comparison of the two groups shows the complexity of mobility plans in a context of loss of the rights linked to EU freedom of movement. The comparison shows further the internal stratification of economic and cultural resources available for mobility plans, and how the previous migratory experience and social class orient mobility plans.
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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.
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