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Rebordering Britain & Britons after Brexit

The Emotional Geographies of Migration and Brexit: Tales of Unbelonging


This article focuses on the emotionality of belonging among European Union (EU) citizens in the context of the United Kingdom's (UK) 2016 referendum and its result in favour of the UK leaving the EU, commonly referred to as Brexit. Drawing from testimonies of EU27 citizens in the UK (mainly mid- to long-term residents) published in a book and on blog and Twitter accounts by the not-for-profit and non-political initiative, the `In Limbo Project', it explores a range of emotions which characterise the affective impact of Brexit and how they underpin two key processes disrupting the sense of belonging of EU citizens: the acquisition of `migrantness' and the non-recognition of the contributions and efforts made to belong. The resulting narratives are characterised by senses of `unbelonging', where processes of social bonding and membership are disrupted and `undone'. These processes are characterised by a lack of intersubjective recognition in the private, legal and communal spheres, with ambivalent impacts on EU citizens' longer-term plans to stay or to leave and wider implications for community relations in a post-Brexit society.

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Central and Eastern European Migration Review


Rosa Mas Giralt (United Kingdom)

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