BrExpats: freedom of movement, citizenship and Brexit in the lives of Britons resident in the European Union

Lead Research Organisation: Goldsmiths College
Department Name: Sociology

Abstract

What are the implications of Brexit for Britain's estimated 2 million citizens (Home Office 2016) resident in other European member states? Will this signal a rise in return migration and with what consequences for welfare and healthcare in the UK? If they stay put, what challenges will Brexit and its impact on Britain's expatiates present for local migration governance and regulation in EU destinations, and for support services for Britons abroad? Finally, what are the consequences for how the British in Europe experience and understand their migration, their everyday lives, citizenship and identities?

BrExpats places such concerns at the heart of its enquiries, examining what Brexit - as it unfolds - entails for Britons resident, part- or full-time, in those EU countries hosting the large numbers of Britons. It is organised around three inter-related research questions:

(a) What will be the consequences of Brexit for the political rights, social and financial entitlements and citizenship of such populations; how will the consequences be understood, communicated, managed and mediated by institutional actors in Britain and Europe as they unfold?
(b) How is Brexit experienced by Britons resident in Europe, across a range of national and local settings; in what ways will this cause them they re-evaluate their lives and citizenship, re-negotiate their identities, (re)position themselves in relation to shifting political realities of Europe, navigate and manage the changing structural conditions that shape the possibilities for their continued residence and/or repatriations?
(c) When and in what ways do these populations feature within the Brexit negotiations, and how are their experiences in turn shaped by the ways they are represented in policy, media and decision-making?

To respond to these questions, BrExpats will foreground a sociological understanding of Brexit and its impacts on Britons resident in Europe, building on and contributing to three fields of social scientific knowledge at their intersections: (1) European citizenship and identities; (2) migration and migrant lives; and (3) British migration. It is designed to capture the ongoing interaction between the institutions, laws, policies, discourses and norms that frame Brexit as a process, and the activities and actions of these Britons. It synthesises past research by the PI and Senior Research Fellow (O'Reilly) on British populations in Europe (see Benson 2011, O'Reilly 2000), employing a project team including consultants from the Migration Policy Institute (MPI) and a dedicated research assistant, to developing new empirical research combining (a) expert interviews with institutional actors in Britain, the European Commission, and European Member States with responsibilities for these British population; (b) in-depth case studies in France and Spain-where the largest number of Britons reside-paired with longitudinal analysis and supplemented with citizens' panels comprised of Britons resident in Ireland, Germany, the Netherlands, Greece and Cyprus, countries hosting the largest populations of Britons after France and Spain (Dennison and Pardijs 2016); and (c) interpretive analysis of texts, documents, discourse, media and policy debates, and decision making.

Academic outputs will include 2 conference papers and 4 journal articles. The project is designed around an continuous commitment to engagement activity and communicating research outcomes to practitioners, civil society organisations and policy makers. Dissemination activities include (a) a series of podcasts; (b) key trends reports; (c) a research brief; (d) policy roundtable; (e) articles in English language media in France and Spain, Migration Information Source, the Conversation and Open Democracy; (f) regularly maintained website and bespoke social media strategy; (h) pop-up exhibition and catalogue; & (i) a co-authored book, written to appeal to a broad audience.

Planned Impact

Who will benefit from this research?
BrExpats has a range of beneficiaries specifically targeted through the strategies for communication outlined in the Pathways to Impact. These include, but are not limited to:
(1) Practitioners and experts: (a) National institutional actors in the UK, EU and EU member states (e.g. Foreign and Commonwealth Office, Consular services, Ministries of Internal Affairs (or equivalent)); (b) Government officials supporting free movement (e.g. All Party Parliamentary Group for Free Movement); (c) Municipal authorities responsible for the management of migration and provision of welfare in EU member states; (d) thinktanks (e.g. MPI Europe; ECFR); (e) intermediaries and organisations providing services to Britons resident in Europe (e.g. taxation and pension advisors; health and social care providers); (f) Civil Society Organisations (e.g. New Europeans).
(2) British Migrant Networks in Europe: (a) Campaign groups supporting the rights of Britons resident in Europe (e.g. BrExpats in Spain; Votes for Expat Brits; Fair Deal for Expats); (b) Expatriate organisations (e.g. British Community Committee of France; Brits in Europe); (c) Internet Fora (e.g. British Expatriate Community [http://britishexpats.com]; Brits Abroad [http://www.britsabroad.com]); (d) Charitable and volunteer organisations supporting the needs of British populations in Europe (e.g. Cudeca; The British Charitable Fund)
(3) Press and media: (a) National Press in the UK and EU members states who have already published articles speculating on the future of Britain's expatriates; (b) Specialist media outlets and English-language media in Europe (e.g. The Connexion; The Sur in English)
(4) British citizens resident in Europe; and the general public, particularly those interested in popular accounts of contemporary political processes, travel writing and travel fiction.

How will they benefit from this research?
In respect to beneficiaries 1, 2 & 3, the research will aid in the ongoing assessment of the impact of Brexit on Britain's expatriates living in the EU, anticipating the potential consequences of Brexit within specific national settings, and for the British government in the case of a large-scale repatriation of these populations. Outputs will draw on findings to advise on what resources and safeguards might need to be put in place to manage these outcomes. The research will also be of benefit to those Britons resident in Europe (Beneficiary 4)-and broad interest to the general public, providing thorough information about the process of Brexit and its outcomes for these populations.

What will be done to ensure that they have the opportunity to benefit from this activity?
Consultants from the Migration Policy Institute bring their existing networks with institutional actors across Europe to the project, and will be responsible for messaging and dissemination of research outputs to these actors, through their production of a (a) research brief and organisation of a (b) policy roundtable in Brussels. The project further communicates findings of significance to practitioners, experts and British migrant organisations through a series of key go-to resources including (c) podcasts; (d) key trends reports; (e) articles for Migration Information Source.

The outputs that specifically target British populations in Europe and the intermediaries that support them include (f) articles in English-language media in France and Spain and (g) pop-up exhibition and catalogue. Further awareness-raising of the diverse outcomes of Brexit for British populations in Europe will be facilitated through (h) articles for Open Democracy and the Conversation; (i) regularly maintained website and bespoke social media strategy; and a (j) coauthored book. Written in accessible language and published with a trade press, this intends to appeal to a broad audience.

Publications

10 25 50

 
Title Brexit Brits Abroad Animation 
Description The Brexit Brits Abroad animation provides a succinct summary of the initial findings of the research. It focuses in particular on how British citizens living in the EU-27 think about and the actions that they have undertaken in response to Brexit. This is less than 2 minutes in length, but designed to be shared around the Internet and social media. 
Type Of Art Film/Video/Animation 
Year Produced 2019 
Impact This has only been released in the last week and so it is too early to tell what the impact will be. However, it was designed in order to raise awareness of the perceived and lived experience of Brexit among British citizens living in the EU-27. 
URL https://brexitbritsabroad.com
 
Description This grant has focused on what Brexit means for UK citizens living in the EU27. It approaches this through lenses onto (a) the changing legal and policy framework as this relates to citizens' rights-notably changes to freedom of movement and access to rights and entitlements; (b) through the consideration of how they are understood and represented in policy and media and with what consequences for an understanding of who the British who live in the EU27 are; (c) in respect to how Brexit is experienced in the lives of such UK citizens; and (d) what plans are being put into place at national and local levels for communicating and mitigating the impacts of Brexit on the lives of these migrants.

I identify here 5 particular discoveries of the research so far:

(1) To date we have discovered that there are very limited understandings of the diversity of this population, with consequences for how their rights and entitlements are understood within the Brexit negotiations; the dominant image of these populations as pensioners has resulted in a focus on concerns over pensions and access to healthcare through the S1 entitlement. And yet, pensioners only account for 21% of this population.

(2) Throughout the Brexit negotiations, it has been unclear who has responsibility for these populations-the UK, the EU or individual member states. Even at this late state (March 2019) it remains unclear what British citizens living in the EU-26 will have to do to secure their residential status in the places they live post-Brexit.

(3) In talking Brexit with these UK citizens, we have documented a high degree of uncertainty about what Brexit means, in turn revealing their lack of knowledge and understanding about the rights that they held until now. Such uncertainty characterises not only what they thought about the vote to leave the EU, but also continues even now that an initial agreement about citizens' rights has been signed. It is clear that there are high levels of misunderstanding among this population, and poor systems for communicating verifiable knowledge down to a local level.

(4) It has become clear that within the British population living in the EU, there some who do not meet the terms for lawful residence as EU citizens. What this means is that they will struggle to demonstrate that they have the right to reside in these countries at a time when they are under renewed scrutiny. This will likely mean that some among them-the most vulnerable, those with ill health, low incomes-will fall between the gaps of the withdrawal agreement. Post-Brexit there likely will be a small but significant population of undocumented Britons living in the EU, with limited access to justice and social protections (if at all).

(5) Brexit is having an impact on individuals within this population that extends beyond rights and entitlements, and into questions of what it means to be British and European, identities that were previously taken-for-granted. However, it is also apparent that they have complex and contradictory understandings of Britain, Britishness and its relationship to Europe, continuing the previous ambivalence about Europe that the PI and SRF documented in their research on Britons living in France and Spain.
Exploitation Route The pathways to impact originally identified in the research proposal provide routes for the communication of these findings. Our findings can be taken forward further through a forthcoming workshop in Brussels, with MEPs and EU member state representatives. This will be particularly important as Britain's withdrawal proceeds. The research could also be put to use by the Foreign and Commonwealth Office and in particular, the consular services. There are also findings of value to other government bodies. We are currently preparing commentaries for Migration Information Source with MPI; these are intended to reach a general public interested in academic research and an audience including the policy and third sector.
Sectors Communities and Social Services/Policy,Government, Democracy and Justice

URL http://brexitbritsabroad.com
 
Description The project is designed around a continuous commitment to engagement activity and communicating research outcomes to (a) practitioners and experts, (b) British migrant networks in Europe, (c) press and media, and (d) British citizens resident in the EU27. Our outputs to date map onto the ESRC understandings of economic and societal impact as we outline below. Practitioners and experts - Outputs relating to this group demonstrate the impact of the research in contributing to the understanding of policy issues-namely Brexit and citizens' rights-and reframing the debate through the provision of evidence about the impact of Brexit on the lives of British citizens living in the EU-27. This has clear benefits to society and the nation. Our findings been used in the following ways: - The report Next Steps? Implementing a Brexit deal for UK citizens living in the EU-27 fed into the House of Commons Exiting the European Union committee, particularly in respect to considerations over the future rights to residence of British citizens living in the EU-27 and the challenges of implementing the Withdrawal Agreement for this population. - Written evidence about Britons living in the EU27 was accepted for publication by the EU Justice select committee (House of Lords). - They presented research at the closed roundtable 'Beyond 'Deal or No Deal': Planning for the Next Phase for UK Nationals in the EU After Brexit' (December 2017) organised by the Migration Policy Institute that included representatives from DExEu and the Foreign and Commonwealth Office - They regularly feed into publications prepared by the UK in a Changing Europe (UKICE). UKICE have been responsible for messaging of documents and reports, and for circulating these to policy makers and practitioners. British migrant networks in Europe/ British citizens resident in the EU27 - Outputs relating to this are intended to bring benefits to individual British citizens living in the EU-27, developing their knowledge and understanding of the Brexit process and influencing practice. - We have carefully organised the project to communicate with these audiences in a more iterative and discursive way; to provide useful information and to direct people towards verifiable knowledge about Brexit. These therefore meet the aim of enhancing quality of life, particularly within the context of what is being experienced by many of those we work with as anxiety-inducing. There are several features of this: the project website (www.brexitbritsabroad.com), social media feeds (twitter, facebook and instagram), and project newsletter. - We have also been broadcasting a fortnightly podcast series (http://brexitbritsabroad.libsyn.com) - to date we have released 41 episodes of the series. To date these have been downloaded over 19000 times. - Fieldwork summary reports - Entitled 'What does Brexit mean for British Citizens living in the EU27' communicate a flavour of the research findings. This is the first of the key trends reports we had planned for in the pathway to impact.
First Year Of Impact 2017
Sector Communities and Social Services/Policy,Government, Democracy and Justice
Impact Types Societal,Policy & public services

 
Description Brexit Fact Sheet on Citizens' Rights
Geographic Reach Europe 
Policy Influence Type Implementation circular/rapid advice/letter to e.g. Ministry of Health
URL http://ukandeu.ac.uk/explainers/citizens-rights/
 
Description Citation in ECAS complaint
Geographic Reach Europe 
Policy Influence Type Citation in other policy documents
Impact The Next Steps? report co-authored with MPI was used within the complaint-prepared by ECAS-submitted to the European Commission Home Affairs committee concerning France's failure to comply with EU law through the failure of French municipal authorities to issue residence documentation to EU citizens residing lawfully in France. If this complaint is successfully pursued, it will have significance for the estimated 150,000 British citizens living in France who have, until now, struggled to get their residence documents issued. As such, this output demonstrates our success in providing evidence to inform policy development.
 
Description Citation in The progress of the UK's negotiations on EU withdrawal
Geographic Reach Europe 
Policy Influence Type Citation in other policy documents
Impact The findings of the research and in particular, the Next Steps? report co-authored with Migration Policy Institute were cited in the House of Commons Exiting the EU Committee Briefings on Citizens' rights (https://publications.parliament.uk/pa/cm201719/cmselect/cmexeu/1439/1439.pdf; https://publications.parliament.uk/pa/cm201719/cmselect/cmexeu/1060/1060.pdf). In particular, this report was used to highlight the potential challenges related to demonstrating lawful residence among British citizens living in the EU-27 and the different in current systems of registering British (and other EU) citizens living in these nation-states. The reach and significance of this impact extend to the 1.2 Million British citizens living in the EU-27 whose rights are being rewritten through Brexit. The outcomes of the negotiations and in particular the way that different member states choose to regularise their British populations will have undoubted impacts on the quality of life of these British citizens. In this respect, the citation of the report meets our impact objective of providing evidence to inform policy among practitioners, experts and organisations responsible for supporting the rights and entitlements of British populations living in the EU.
URL https://publications.parliament.uk/pa/cm201719/cmselect/cmexeu/1060/1060.pdf
 
Description Written Evidence to the House of Lords EU Justice Subcommittee (Citizens Rights)
Geographic Reach National 
Policy Influence Type Gave evidence to a government review
URL http://www.parliament.uk/business/committees/committees-a-z/lords-select/eu-justice-subcommittee/inq...
 
Description Migration Policy Institute 
Organisation Migration Policy Institute
Country United States 
Sector Charity/Non Profit 
PI Contribution We have been working with Migration Policy Institute to provide advice on the academic research about UK citizens living in the EU27 given the world-leading expertise of the PI and SRF in this field of study. This has included reading a draft of their initial report for the Barrow Cadbury foundation ('Safe or Sorry'), in which our research has been cited. We were also invited to participate and selected as one of six interventions at a closed roundtable they held in London (December 2017).
Collaborator Contribution The Migration Policy Institute have been working with us as consultants on the project. They have played a specific role in designing and conducting the research with expert stakeholders in the EU as part of Work Package 1 for our ongoing research about the impacts of Brexit on the lives of UK citizens living in the EU27. They are in the process of writing a report based on this research.
Impact - BrExpats participation in the MPI closed roundtable (not multi-disciplinary)
Start Year 2017
 
Description Article for Discover Society (February 2019) 
Form Of Engagement Activity Engagement focused website, blog or social media channel
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Undergraduate students
Results and Impact Project lead Dr Michaela Benson wrote the FOCUS article, Brexit and rethinking the British in Europe for Discover Society (DS), published by Social Research Publications, a not-for-project a not-for-profit collaboration between sociology and social policy academics and publishers at Policy Press to promote the publication of social research, commentary and policy analysis. The intention behind this article was to communicate the sociological analysis produced through the research to an interested and engaged general public. The primary audience for DS is sociology students-from A Level through to PG-who are an informed general public. It offered insights into how we might better understand-through Brexit and the case of British citizens living overseas-our understandings of migration to and from the UK.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2019
URL https://discoversociety.org/2019/02/06/focus-brexit-and-rethinking-the-british-in-europe/
 
Description Article for National Newspaper - The Telegraph (April 2018) 
Form Of Engagement Activity A magazine, newsletter or online publication
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Media (as a channel to the public)
Results and Impact This was an article for the Telegraph reporting on the Next Steps? report produced through the project. It was intended to communicate where the withdrawal agreement left British citizens living in the EU, and what EU governments needed to put in place to support them.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2018
URL https://www.telegraph.co.uk/politics/2018/04/19/should-help-expats-brexit-no-mans-land/
 
Description Article for national newspaper - The Independent (May 2018) 
Form Of Engagement Activity A magazine, newsletter or online publication
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Media (as a channel to the public)
Results and Impact This article was picked up by the Independent from its initial publication in The Conversation. The intention behind it was to critically engage with the recent Office for National Statistics reports about 'How many Britons living in the EU-27 will be effected by Brexit'. The basic argument was that the methodology used to establish the baseline statistics about British citizens living in the EU-27 resulted in a significant and damaging under-estimation of the numbers of Britons living in the EU.

This national coverage in a broadsheet newspaper resulted in the ONS getting in touch to discuss our interpretation.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2018
URL https://www.independent.co.uk/travel/british-citizens-europe-residents-eu-brexit-a8332986.html
 
Description Article for the Independent (May 2018) 
Form Of Engagement Activity A magazine, newsletter or online publication
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Media (as a channel to the public)
Results and Impact The Independent republished the article written by Profressorial Research Fellow Karen O'Reilly that originally appeared in The Conversation. This was written with the intended purpose of making sense of recent statistics produced by the Office for National Statistics about the numbers of British citizens living in the EU-27 who were likely to impacted by Brexit. It was set within a broader and more longstanding challenge of enumerating Britain's emigrants.

In this way, it sought to raise awareness of the people who fall between the gaps in the production of official statistics such as these, meeting our broader impact objectives of raising awareness of the perceived and lived experience of Brexit on Britons resident in Europe and documenting the issues emerging through Brexit as they effect these populations.

This led to discussion with the ONS-who disagreed with our argument that all statistics were political.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2018
URL https://www.independent.co.uk/travel/british-citizens-europe-residents-eu-brexit-a8332986.html
 
Description Article for the Telegraph (April 2018) 
Form Of Engagement Activity A magazine, newsletter or online publication
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Media (as a channel to the public)
Results and Impact This piece, authored by PI Dr Michaela Benson, reported on the forthcoming Next Steps? report co-authored by the project team and consultants Migration Policy Institute. It highlighted the key findings and recommendations of the report.

The intended purpose of writing this piece was to better inform the general public about who the British living in the EU are and what Brexit might (variously) mean for them. It meets the original impact objective as laid out in our funding proposal of raising awareness of the perceived and lived experience of Brexit on Britons living in Europe, and taken together with the ambitions of the report, seeks to intervene in and inform policy among practitioners, experts and organisations responsible for supporting the rights and entitlements of these populations. Further, published in a national broadsheet, it meets the significant appetite among the general public for information about Brexit.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2018
URL https://www.telegraph.co.uk/politics/2018/04/19/should-help-expats-brexit-no-mans-land/
 
Description BBC News Article (January 2019) 
Form Of Engagement Activity Engagement focused website, blog or social media channel
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Public/other audiences
Results and Impact The BBC Expert Network commissioned our project lead to write a piece for the BBC News website. This focused on Brexit and what it means for the diverse British citizen population living in the EU-27. This went live on 12th January 2017, and within 72 hours had been read by over 800,000 people.

The intended purpose of writing this piece was to better inform the general public about who the British living in the EU are and what Brexit might (variously) mean for them. It meets the original objective as laid out in our funding proposal of raising awareness of the perceived and lived experience of Brexit on Britons living in Europe, and to meet the significant appetite among the general public for information about Brexit. It took as a starting point the dispelling of myths about British citizens who live abroad which have been a significant barrier to understanding what Brexit meet mean for them.

Following publication of the piece, we received further requests for participation from British citizens living in the EU-27, and several other emails engaging with the findings of the project. We also saw unprecedented levels of traffic to our website over this time. This additionally led to further media inquiries.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2019
URL https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-46632854
 
Description Brexit One Year On 
Form Of Engagement Activity A magazine, newsletter or online publication
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Public/other audiences
Results and Impact We contributed a short piece of writing about Brexit and UK citizens living in the EU27 for this short report. The outcome and impact of this activity are documented elsewhere by the UK in a Changing Europe who coordinated the activity.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2017
URL http://ukandeu.ac.uk/brexit-gives-rise-to-new-political-identities-new-report-one-year-on-from-eu-re...
 
Description Brexit Podcast 
Form Of Engagement Activity A broadcast e.g. TV/radio/film/podcast (other than news/press)
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Public/other audiences
Results and Impact I was invited to talk on the Brexit podcast about my research with Britons living in France. This podcast series, aims to 'help you make sense of all the nonsense surrounding the UK's decision to leave the EU ... to offer you some much needed clarity by bringing in the most straight-talking experts from all fields, as well as average people from all walks of life and from both sides of the issue, to document a snapshot of public opinion about this generation-defining issue'. To date, mine is the most downloaded and listened to episode of the series.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2017
URL http://www.brexitpodcast.com/tag/michaela-benson/
 
Description CUCR Blogposts 
Form Of Engagement Activity Engagement focused website, blog or social media channel
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Other audiences
Results and Impact I wrote two blogposts documenting the experience of returning to the fieldsite of my doctoral research after 13 years away for my research centre's blog (Streetsigns). This was intended to communicate thoughts on methodological practice. The primary audience for the output was the members of the research centre and those interested in the issues researched in the Centre for Urban and Community Research.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2017
URL https://cucrblog.wordpress.com/2017/07/25/le-retour-a-la-france-profonde-shifting-scales-and-scapes-...
 
Description Dynamic project website 
Form Of Engagement Activity Engagement focused website, blog or social media channel
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Public/other audiences
Results and Impact As part of the project, we have established a lively and dynamic project website. This contains information about the project, the activities of the project team, including listing all impact-related outputs, a call to action for potential participants in the research, and a gallery of user-submitted stories from British citizens living in the EU-27 reflecting on their thoughts about Brexit and what it means for their lives. It also showcases (1) the infographics that we have had produced for the project that aim to communicate key facts and figures about British populations living in the EU-27 and that depict the history of overseas voting, and (2) an animation intended to communicate the research to a wider audience.

The project social media feeds are instrumental in driving traffic to the site and over the life of the project, we have had over 21000 visitors to the site.

The intention behind the project website was to provide public face to the project that people could consult; in particular, we were keen that those taking part (or interested in taking part in the project) would be able to easily access information about the project. Indeed, this has been vital to the recruitment of the citizens' panel. In addition, the project website also communicates on the progress of the research, communicating key findings and all our project outputs.

We are aware, anecdotally, that the Foreign and Commonwealth Office consult the site on a regular basis, and that it has been central in routing interest from other government departments through to the project team (notably DWP and DHSC).

The project website therefore meets our impact objectives of raising awareness of the perceived and lived experiences of Brexit on Britons resident in Europe, documenting how Brexit impacts on British citizens living in the EU-27 as it unfolded; providing evidence to inform policy among practitioners, experts and organisations responsible for supporting the rights and entitlements of these populations; while also feeding back our research to those taking part, and providing much needed knowledge and information to other Britons living in the EU.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2017,2018,2019
URL http://www.brexitbritsabroad.com
 
Description Facebook Live for UKiCE 
Form Of Engagement Activity A broadcast e.g. TV/radio/film/podcast (other than news/press)
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Public/other audiences
Results and Impact In December 2017, UKiCE organised a Facebook Live event to talk about the progress of the negotiations so far and future projections. This has been watched by nearly 2000 people around the world and was part of the wider engagement strategy of UKiCE in showcasing their academic experts talking about Brexit.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2017
URL https://www.facebook.com/TheUKinaChangingEurope/videos/1741590592814509/
 
Description From Mobile Citizens to Migrants Roundtable (May 2018) 
Form Of Engagement Activity A formal working group, expert panel or dialogue
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Regional
Primary Audience Public/other audiences
Results and Impact We hosted the expert panel 'From Mobile Citizens to Migrants' at the British Library in May 2018. The ambition of this panel was to locate current discussions concerning citizens' rights within broader questions about migration governance and citizenship. To these ends it brought together academics with Omar Khan (Runnymede Trust) and Aliyyah Ahad (Migration Policy Institute) to explore the processes and practices of making migrants and citizens in the present-day. It was attended by an audience of 35 people, and subsequently broadcast through our podcast series. It sparked questions and discussions within the room both through the formal Q and A and afterwards.

This was intending to raise critical awareness of Brexit and what this means for questions of citizenship and migration in Britain and Europe today.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2018
 
Description Interview for BBC Politics Wales (BBC) 
Form Of Engagement Activity A broadcast e.g. TV/radio/film/podcast (other than news/press)
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Regional
Primary Audience Media (as a channel to the public)
Results and Impact Project lead Dr Michaela Benson was interviewed for Sunday Politics Live about the Overseas' Electors Bill in advance of its second reading in parliament. This was broadcast in October 2018.

This meets the broader impact objective of raising awareness of issues affecting British citizens living in the EU (in a time of Brexit) and in providing expert commentary on an issue of longstanding significance to British citizens living overseas.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2018
 
Description Interview for podcast - Remainiacs (May 2018) 
Form Of Engagement Activity A broadcast e.g. TV/radio/film/podcast (other than news/press)
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Media (as a channel to the public)
Results and Impact Dr Michaela Benson appeared as a guest on the Remainiacs podcast. This is one of the leading Brexit podcasts broadcasting from a Remain position. The intention behind appearing on this podcast was to communicate the facts about who the British are who live in the EU-27. As one of the hosts made clear during the podcast, this had changed his understanding of the British abroad.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2018
URL https://audioboom.com/posts/6860699-do-we-wanna-live-like-gammon-people
 
Description Interview for radio - Talk Radio Europe (May 2018) 
Form Of Engagement Activity A broadcast e.g. TV/radio/film/podcast (other than news/press)
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Media (as a channel to the public)
Results and Impact Professor Karen O'Reilly was interviewed by TRE's Stephen Ritson about the project's research about what Brexit means to British citizens living in the EU-27. TRE is Spain's only English-language radio station and is popular with British citizens living in Spain. The intention behind this was to communicate widely the outcomes of the research to an interested audience.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2018
URL https://audioboom.com/posts/6872084-europe-today-brexit-special-karen-o-reilly-from-brexit-brits-abr...
 
Description Interview for radio - Talk Radio Europe (November 2018) 
Form Of Engagement Activity A press release, press conference or response to a media enquiry/interview
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Public/other audiences
Results and Impact Professor Karen O'Reilly was interviewed by TRE's Howard Brereton about Brexit and the British in Spain. This was intended to communicate expert information developed through the research to an interested audience-British citizens living in Europe.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2018
URL https://audioboom.com/posts/7096296-prof-karen-o-reilly-from-brexit-brits-abroad-talks-brexit-with-t...
 
Description Interviews for English Language Newspapers in Spain (2) 
Form Of Engagement Activity A press release, press conference or response to a media enquiry/interview
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Media (as a channel to the public)
Results and Impact Karen O'Reilly was interviewed by both the Sur in English and Euroweekly whilst conducting research with UK citizens living in Spain. In the case of the latter, the interview appeared in versions all around Spain. On the basis of this publication, more people got involved in the research.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2017
URL http://www.surinenglish.com/lifestyle/201711/10/researching-brits-costa-20171110103702-v.html
 
Description Interviews for English Language newspapers in Spain (1) 
Form Of Engagement Activity A press release, press conference or response to a media enquiry/interview
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Media (as a channel to the public)
Results and Impact Karen O'Reilly was interviewed by both the Sur in English and Euroweekly whilst conducting research with UK citizens living in Spain. In the case of the latter, the interview appeared in versions all around Spain. On the basis of this publication, more people got involved in the research.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2017,2018
URL https://www.euroweeklynews.com/images/e-papers/1699-costa-del-sol-ewn.pdf
 
Description Interviews for English-language newspapers in Europe 
Form Of Engagement Activity A magazine, newsletter or online publication
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Public/other audiences
Results and Impact Throughout the project, we have been approached by English-language news media to provide expert commentary on what Brexit means for British citizens living in the EU-27. Members of the project team are regularly consulted by journalists and editors working in this specialist industry; the reports produced by the project featured in these outlets. This has included:

- The Sur in English (Spain)
- The Connexion (France)
- The Local (a pan-European English-language newspaper)
- The Canarian (Spain)

The primary readership of these news outlets are English-speaking residents in Europe. The geographical reach of these outlets is across the EU. Notably, this includes British citizens who have made their homes and lives in the EU-27, and who stand most to be affected by Brexit-and who are seeking reputable sources of information about what Brexit will mean for their lives. For example, we know that these are a primary source of information for those British citizens who do not feel competent in reading the language in their place of residence. Each of these outlets has dedicated reporting on Brexit on a weekly (sometimes daily) basis and have become go-to resources for communicating about what Brexit means for these British citizens.

This output met the original impact objectives of the project: (1) to raise awareness of the perceived and lived experience of Brexit on Britons resident in Europe, documenting issues emerging through the process of Brexit as they effect these populations and (2) to provide much-needed knowledge and information to other Britons living in the European Union.

The engagement of the project team with these media has been vital in communicating the research and providing up-to-the minute opinion on how the negotiations are unfolding and being felt by British citizens living in the EU-27. This has been significant in disseminating findings from the research but also in generating requests for participation in the research.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2017,2018,2019
URL https://brexitbritsabroad.com/our-findings/media-coverage/
 
Description Interviews for podcasts 
Form Of Engagement Activity A broadcast e.g. TV/radio/film/podcast (other than news/press)
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Media (as a channel to the public)
Results and Impact Members of the project team have appeared as invited guests on Brexit-specific podcasts. This includes appearances on:

- Brexit Podcast (https://audioboom.com/posts/6506674-karen-o-reilly-on-how-brits-in-spain-think-negotiations-are-progressing; https://audioboom.com/posts/6133898-michaela-benson-on-what-brits-abroad-think-of-brexit)
- Remainiacs (https://audioboom.com/posts/6860699-do-we-wanna-live-like-gammon-people)

On all occasions, this has provided a space for us to communicate the findings of the research and, as per our impact objectives for the project, to raise awareness of the perceived and lived experience of Brexit on Britons resident in Europe, communicating the impact of this process on their lives. Accepting these invitations has been driven by an intention to make sure that the case of these British citizens-who are a lesser-known story about Brexit-remains in the public domain over the course of the negotiations. Further, we have been keen to disturb widely-held misunderstandings of who the British in Europe are, in this way laying the foundations for a more nuanced understanding of the diversity of this population, and different terms on which they live their lives in the EU. As one of the presenters of the Remainiacs podcast commented, our intervention had changed their understandings of who the British were in Europe.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2017,2018,2019
 
Description Interviews with English Language Newspapers in France 
Form Of Engagement Activity A press release, press conference or response to a media enquiry/interview
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Media (as a channel to the public)
Results and Impact Michaela was interviewed by the Local France about why British people living in France might have voted for Britain to exit the European Union. The intended purpose of this was to contribute towards an understanding that voting practices are complex, and that people do not only vote in their self-interest
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2017
URL https://www.thelocal.fr/20171206/abused-but-unfazed-what-its-like-being-a-brexit-supporting-brit-in-...
 
Description Meetings with practitioners, expertise and civil sector organisations 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Policymakers/politicians
Results and Impact Throughout the research, the project team have been consulted informally by White Hall Officials, the Department of Work and Pensions, the Department of Health and Social Care, the Scottish government and the British Consular services in Spain. They have also been in regular conversation with the main CSOs supporting British citizens living in Europe: The British in Europe and New Europeans.

The intention behind these conversations was to communicate findings of relevance arising through the research to these stakeholders. This included highlighting the diversity of these populations and Brexit's differential impacts, while also drawing attention to challenges of demonstrating lawful residence across the EU-27, given significant national differences in monitoring and regulating Freedom of Movement. In these ways, this output contributed to our ambition to create evidence to inform policy re: citizens' rights as it unfolded. Particularly notable here was our identification of the fact that systems of registration are not uniform across Europe and that registration and residence procedures are not necessarily the same. This finding fed into the negotiations, influencing understandings of the impacts of Brexit for British citizens living in Europe.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2018,2019
 
Description Migration Policy Roundtable 
Form Of Engagement Activity A formal working group, expert panel or dialogue
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Policymakers/politicians
Results and Impact In December 2017, Migration Policy Institute organised a closed roundtable operated under Chatham House rules entitled 'Beyond 'Deal or No Deal': Planning for the Next Phase
for UK Nationals in the EU After Brexit'. Dr Michaela Benson was invited to participate due to her expertise on UK citizens living in France, and on the basis of her leadership of the BrExpats project. She provided evidence based on the research about the concerns of UK citizens taking part in the research about Brexit. The outcomes and impacts of the discussion were intended to consider what needed to be put in place to support these populations, given the changes to their legal status that were forthcoming in light of Brexit. The roundtable brought together staff from the Foreign and Commonwealth Office, civil servants, the head of citizens' rights at DExEu, MPI and legal specialists as well as academics conducting research on Brexit.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2017
 
Description Podcast series 
Form Of Engagement Activity A broadcast e.g. TV/radio/film/podcast (other than news/press)
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Public/other audiences
Results and Impact The project outputs include a series of podcasts. These aim to raise awareness of the key issues relating to Britons living in the EU post-Brexit and provide critical sociological analysis of the questions of citizenship, identity and belonging that Brexit raises for them. It features guest speakers alongside the project team, and showcases the research as it is ongoing.

To date, we have released 41 episodes. These are hosted on Libsyn, listed on our website, and available to download through iTunes. We promote these through our social media networks, and have built our audience over the course of the research. At present, there have been over 19000 downloads of the podcast. It was listed by RTÉ as one of the best academic podcasts on Brexit (https://www.rte.ie/eile/brainstorm/2019/0118/1024020-a-listeners-guide-to-the-best-brexit-podcasts/), and by Politico as one of the best podcasts on Brexit (https://www.politico.eu/article/the-best-brexit-podcasts-reviewed/).

The intention behind this series was to raise awareness of the perceived and lived experience of Brexit on Britons resident in Europe, and to provide expert sociological analysis and commentary on this. It has also offered a platform for doing sociology publicly and feeding back our research to those who have participated in the project.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2017,2018,2019
URL http://brexitbritsabroad.libsyn.com
 
Description Project Newsletter 
Form Of Engagement Activity Engagement focused website, blog or social media channel
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Public/other audiences
Results and Impact We set up and e-newsletter at the start of the project. This now has a subscription base of 900 people. We send out newsletter through this mailing list one every 6-8 weeks, reporting on the latest from the project and any Brexit-news of relevance to this audience. The intended purpose behind this in line with our impact objectives was to provide the opportunity to feed back the research to those taking part in the project and provide much-needed knowledge and information to other Britons living in Europe. We have also used the newsletter to drive further calls for action and participation in the research.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2017,2018,2019
URL https://us11.campaign-archive.com/home/?u=da1a69557f199de0d47dd02b7&id=6081190e6d
 
Description Public talks 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Policymakers/politicians
Results and Impact Our project lead Dr Michaela Benson has taken part in public-facing events and debates about Brexit aimed at raising awareness of the perceived and lived experience of Brexit on Britons resident in Europe. This includes events for the ThinkTank Britain in Europe and New Europeans. The largest of these debates had an audience of 60 people, the smallest, less than 10. On each occasion, interventions sparked questions and discussions afterwards and the audience reported an enhanced understanding of the British population in the EU-27 and what Brexit might mean for them.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2019
 
Description Research cited in national news reporting about Brexit 
Form Of Engagement Activity A magazine, newsletter or online publication
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Media (as a channel to the public)
Results and Impact Throughout the research, findings from the project have been featured or cited in national media outlets. This includes:

- The Financial Times (Brexit Briefings)
- The Big Issue North
- The Atlantic
- The Telegraph (Brexit Briefings)

This meets the objective of the research to raise awareness of the perceived and lived experience of Brexit on Britons resident in Europe.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2017,2018,2019
 
Description Twitter Feed and Facebook page 
Form Of Engagement Activity Engagement focused website, blog or social media channel
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Public/other audiences
Results and Impact We set up a project twitter feed (@BrExpatsEU) and Facebook page (https://www.facebook.com/brexitbritsabroad/) at the outset of the project to communicate findings and outputs produced through the project, to circulate information of relevance to the British living in the EU27, and to engage with British populations living in the EU27. Latterly, we have also set up an Instagram feed (@brexpatseu). Our twitter feed now has 2244 followers, our Facebook page has over 432 followers, and our instagram feed has 226 followers. Our posts are regularly retweeted and shared on these platforms, and there is also some discussion and debate through these fora.

The intention the social media presence of the project was to communicate the findings of the research in real time, and in particular, to raise awareness the perceived and lived experience of Brexit on Britons in Europe and to provide much-needed knowledge and information to Britons living in the EU about what Brexit means for their lives. As such, we produce digital content relating to our own research activities, and regularly circulate this through the feeds; we also draw on digital content produced from reputable sources elsewhere that we think will be of interest to our followers.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2017,2018,2019
 
Description UKICE Blogpost 
Form Of Engagement Activity Engagement focused website, blog or social media channel
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Public/other audiences
Results and Impact Throughout the project, the project team has written or contributed guest blogposts to other blogging platforms. This has included platforms providing expert-based commentary on Brexit (including the UK in a Changing Europe https://ukandeu.ac.uk; LSE Brexit https://blogs.lse.ac.uk/brexit/; Britain in Europe https://www.brineurope.com); platforms designed to communicate academic research to wider audiences with a general rather than specific focus (including The Conversation https://theconversation.com/uk); and sociology specific platforms (including the Centre for Urban and Community Research Blog https://cucrblog.wordpress.com; the Sociological Review Blog https://www.thesociologicalreview.com/blog/). Each of these platforms has wide readership in their intended areas, offering a route for people to engage with the research.

Engaging with each of these platforms meets the intended impact objectives of the research in a variety of ways. Writing for Brexit-focussed platforms raises awareness of the perceived and lived experience of Brexit and citizens' by Britons living in the EU-27, focussed on communicating this to an interested general audience concerned about Brexit and its implications. It also provides an opportunity to document and provide authoritative commentary on the issues emerging through Brexit as these effect British populations living in EU, and suggest workable solutions. Through the more general audiences engaging with platforms such as the Conversation we communicate the research to a broader audience, drawing out findings that are not exclusively about Brexit, but can offer insights into questions of Britain's populations living overseas. The final outlet, sociology-specific platforms offers a route to communicate the methodological lessons about doing research on Brexit, a lively topic, that have emerged organically through the research process.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2017,2018,2019