Skip to main content
Rebordering Britain & Britons after Brexit

Spanish nationals' future plans in the context of Brexit

Abstract

This paper examines the future plans of Spanish nationals resident in the United Kingdom following the United Kingdom's vote to leave the European Union, commonly referred to as Brexit. Drawing on the literature on migration decision-making, the paper asks how changes to rights-based ideas of belonging and identity in the wake of the Brexit vote will impact on Spanish nationals' decisions about the future. Using results from an online survey, the paper explores Spanish nationals' plans for the future, their sense of feeling of “at home” in the United Kingdom, and their views on Brexit. Recognising that the community is not homogenous, the paper considers the different experiences of Latin Americans with Spanish nationality and Spaniards who were born in Spain. Feelings of belonging are contingent and shift over time, and Brexit is perceived negatively by the vast majority of respondents. However, a number of factors such as time in the country and family relationships affect planned future length of time in the United Kingdom. Individuals respond differently to the uncertainty provoked by the referendum, with Latin Americans with Spanish nationality reporting a greater desire to take the necessary steps to establish themselves permanently in the United Kingdom.

You might also be interested in :

(Un)settling home during the Brexit process
Building upon extensive literature on the concept of home, this article uses narrative interviews to argue that home can be (un)settled. The process of (un)settling home can occur in relation to various circumstances such as widowhood, ill health, or geopolitical changes. This article presents (un)…
“Where are we going to go now?” European Union migrants' experiences of hostility, anxiety, and (non-)belonging during Brexit
This paper examines the impact of the 2016 European Union (EU) referendum and its aftermath from the perspective of European migrants living in Wales. Drawing on interviews conducted with EU nationals in 2016 and 2017…
Migration decisions in the face of upheaval: An experimental approach
The analysis of migration under conditions of potential economic and political upheaval is challenging because these undermine the institutional framework that underpins existing migration trajectories. Therefore…
Rescaling belonging in “Brexit Britain”: Spatial identities and practices of Polish nationals in Scotland after the UK Referendum on European Union membership
This paper discusses how the 2016 U.K. Referendum on European Union membership has shaped the spatial identities and practices of Polish nationals living in Scotland. On the basis of original qualitative data collected in Edinburgh after the referendum, we make two key arguments. First…

Journal

Population Space and Place

Author

Helen N. J. McCarthy (United Kingdom)

Article meta

Country / region covered

Population studied

Year of Publication

Source type

Keywords