Rebordering Britain and Britons after Brexit (MIGZEN)

Lead Research Organisation: University of Birmingham
Department Name: Social Policy, Sociology and Criminology

Abstract

The Brexit negotiations have brought public and political attention to longstanding concerns within migration and citizenship scholarship, throwing questions of citizenship, migration and belonging into sharp relief. It is also clear that Brexit has affected people's sense of belonging, mobility and settlement plans. In the wake of Brexit, Britons in the EU and EU citizens and non-EU Third Country Nationals (TCN) in the UK are finding the status and the terms of their residence challenged, their claims to belonging, and access to rights questioned, their settlement plans in jeopardy.

Rebordering Britain and Britons after Brexit (MIGZEN) turns its attention towards these emerging issues. Through a collaborative project involving academics, policy makers, civil society and migrant-led organisations it aims to produce new knowledge about migration between the UK and EU, and how the changing legal and political relationship between the UK and EU in consequence of Brexit shapes migration and migrant experience - including settlement, questions of identity, citizenship and belonging.

It takes a unique approach to understanding the story of migration between Britain and Europe that foregrounds both immigration and emigration from Britain, and adopts an inclusive understanding of who is a migrant to examine different forms of mobility, including third country nationals and those previously entitled to freedom of movement, namely UK nationals moving within the EU, and EU citizens moving to the UK. It offers a critical analysis of the relationship between migration and migration governance in the UK that situates it in the context of the current geopolitical repositioning of the country. By foregrounding the nexus between migration and citizenship, MIGZEN offers in-depth insights into the changing relationship between the UK and European Union through a focus on migration and its governance.

The project develops an ambitious and innovative programme of work on the impact of Brexit on migration to and from the United Kingdom at a range of scales: (a) policies and legal structures; (b) flows and routes; (c) migration strategies and settlement experiences where it addresses the following research questions:

- How, and in what ways, have volume, geography and direction of migration flows between the UK and EU changed since the Brexit Referendum? And how does this relate to global migrations to and from the UK?
- In what ways do settled populations - UK nationals resident in EU member states before Brexit and EU citizens living in the UK - assess their mobile and residential futures in light of their changing legal status, personal circumstances, political and economic crises, and the COVID-19 pandemic?
- How do transformations to migration governance regimes intervene in (a) decisions to migrate and repatriate (b) subsequent experiences of settlement for those newly migrating between to the UK and from the UK to the EU following Brexit?

Through an extensive and ambitious dissemination and impact plan, the project will contribute to academic, policy, and public debates on the past, present, and future lived experiences of Brexit and migration to and from the UK. Our research offers a unique longitudinal vantage point from which to examine the dilemmas and challenges British emigrants, EU and non-EU immigrants are facing as a result of Brexit, as well as to cast light on how they are coping, adapting and responding to the additional challenges brought by COVID-19 pandemic and its aftermath.

Publications

10 25 50
publication icon
Benson M (2021) Brexit's Hidden Costs for Britons Living in the EU in Current History

 
Description Citizens' Rights Report - House of Lord EU Affairs Committee
Geographic Reach Europe 
Policy Influence Type Citation in other policy documents
URL https://committees.parliament.uk/publications/6900/documents/72571/default/
 
Description Oral Evidence - House of Lords EU Affairs Committee (May 2021)
Geographic Reach Europe 
Policy Influence Type Gave evidence to a government review
URL https://parliamentlive.tv/event/index/d4cfcc26-8c12-4f88-9600-5cc315fdfc76?in=17:00:00&out=18:11:00
 
Description Written Evidence [CIT00008] to the House of Lords EU Affairs Committee, Inquiry into Citizens' Rights
Geographic Reach Europe 
Policy Influence Type Gave evidence to a government review
URL https://committees.parliament.uk/writtenevidence/37388/pdf/
 
Description All Party Parliamentary Groups - Citizens' Rights - February 2022 (Michaela Benson) 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Policymakers/politicians
Results and Impact Presentation to the All Party Parliamentary Groups Citizens' Rights (February 2022) by Michaela Benson focussed on the challenges relating to the implementation of citizens' rights provisions for British citizens in the EU.

This virtual meeting of the APPG Citizens' Rights organised by New Europeans intended to communicate to members of the APPG and the general public what the continuing challenges were that British citizens were facing, and what members of UK parliament might do to address this.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2022
URL https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Njn3x4FQpI8
 
Description Article - De Facto (in French) 
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 Contribution to a collection of short essays published in De Facto (https://www.icmigrations.cnrs.fr/defacto/defacto-026/)
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2021
URL https://www.icmigrations.cnrs.fr/wp-content/uploads/2021/06/DF26-Sigona-Godin.pdf
 
Description Article - Il Mulino magazine - Brexit e l'eredita del sogno europeo 
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 Article in Italian exploring the biopolitical legacy of the EU project in London after Brexit
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2021
URL https://www.rivistailmulino.it/a/brexit-e-l-eredit-del-sogno-europeo
 
Description Article for Border Criminologies (Benson) 
Form Of Engagement Activity Engagement focused website, blog or social media channel
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Postgraduate students
Results and Impact Don't Pass Go: Brexit, Covid-19 and the rising number of Romanians being stopped at the UK's, by Michaela Benson, published 9 December 2021
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2021
URL https://www.law.ox.ac.uk/research-subject-groups/centre-criminology/centreborder-criminologies/blog/...
 
Description Article for The Conversation (Sigona and Benson) 
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 Debunking key myths about Britain's 'broken asylum system', The Conversation by Nando Sigona and Michaela Benson, 2 December 2021
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2021
URL https://theconversation.com/debunking-key-myths-about-britains-broken-asylum-system-172794
 
Description Article for The Sociological Review Blog (Benson and Sigona) 
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 Brexit on 'Plague Island': fortifying the UK's borders in times of crisis, by Michaela Benson and Nando Sigona, published 2 February 2021
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2021
URL https://doi.org/10.51428/tsr.jbva7374
 
Description Article for UK in a Changing Europe (Benson) 
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 British citizens living in the EU and the Brexit withdrawal agreement by Michaela Benson, published 4 November 2021
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2021
URL https://ukandeu.ac.uk/british-citizens-living-in-the-eu-brexit-withdrawal-agreement/
 
Description Article for UK in a Changing Europe (Benson) 
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 Which EU citizens are being turned away at the UK's borders? by Michaela Benson, published 28 May 2021
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2021
URL https://ukandeu.ac.uk/which-eu-citizens-are-being-turned-away-at-britains-borders/
 
Description Article for UK in a Changing Europe Blog (Benson) 
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 deadline for British Citizens living in the EU is looming by Michaela Benson, published 30 June 2021
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2021
URL https://ukandeu.ac.uk/british-citizens-living-in-the-eu/
 
Description Article for UK in a Changing Europe Blog (Benson) 
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 British Citizens in the EU: the other side of the citizens' rights coin, by Michaela Benson, 2 June 2021
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2021
URL https://ukandeu.ac.uk/british-citizens-in-the-eu-the-other-side-of-the-citizens-rights-coin/
 
Description Article in The Conversation - Belarus/Poland border crisis 
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 Tensions at the border between Poland and Belarus continue to rise, with thousands of vulnerable migrants stranded in a standoff between the two countries and the geopolitical blocs to which they belong. About 4,000 men, women and children are caught along the border between the two countries, having been reportedly escorted to the border by Belarusian guards.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2021
URL https://theconversation.com/belarus-border-crisis-with-poland-loses-sight-of-the-people-trapped-in-t...
 
Description BBC Newsnight, Irregular crossings in the English Channel, 22/11/2021 
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 Public/other audiences
Results and Impact Interviewed BBC flagship programme Newsnight
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2021
URL https://www.bbc.co.uk/iplayer/episode/m0011wwm/newsnight-22112021
 
Description Brexit On 'Plague Island': Fortifying The UK's Borders In Times Of Crisis 
Form Of Engagement Activity Engagement focused website, blog or social media channel
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact Three weeks into 2021 and the end of the Brexit transition period, and not a day has passed where the borders haven't made their presence felt in the news cycle. The coincidence of COVID and Brexit has produced a perfect storm, as public health concerns and necessary containment measures have become entangled with the emerging post-Brexit geopolitics, and often weaponised to score political points.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2021
URL https://www.thesociologicalreview.com/brexit-on-plague-island-fortifying-the-uks-borders-in-times-of...
 
Description Channel deaths fuel UK-France tensions over migrant boats - cited in AP article 
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 When it left the bloc, Britain also exited a system that provided for intra-European cooperation on asylum and other migration issues, said Nando Sigona, professor of international migration and forced displacement at the University of Birmingham. At the same time, people smugglers have realized the channel is a lucrative route for migrants and they are stepping up their effort with bigger boats.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2021
URL https://apnews.com/article/europe-france-london-migration-emmanuel-macron-08450afdd4c76c7225d7834c64...
 
Description In the shadow of Brexit - image-makers for The Sociological Review 
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 his month our digital theme is migrations. Here Image-Makers in Residence, Nando Sigona & Marie Godin, introduce "In the shadow of Brexit: EU families and Eurochildren in Brexiting Britain". Follow us on Instagram at 'thesociologicalreview' for all the images.

"In the shadow of Brexit" is a participatory photo and audio project, part of the EU families and Eurochildren in Brexiting Britain research project (ES/R001510/1), funded by the Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC) in The UK in a Changing Europe programme. The study investigates how families with EU27 parents are managing the change and uncertainty brought by the EU referendum of June 2016, and the kind of strategies they have put in place to mitigate the actual and expected impact of Brexit on their lives.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2021
URL https://www.thesociologicalreview.com/image-makers-in-residence-nando-sigona-marie-godin/
 
Description Interviewed for 'The Briefing Room' 
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 Media (as a channel to the public)
Results and Impact I was interviewed about British citizens living in the EU for BBC Radio 4's 'The Briefing Room' to coincide with the EU settlement scheme deadline.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2021
URL https://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/m000xfhp
 
Description Interviewed in BBC Radio 4 The Week in Westminster 
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 Public/other audiences
Results and Impact Pippa Crerar, political editor of the Daily Mirror, presents, with discussions on migrants, with Baroness Kate Hoey, non-affiliated peer, and Nando Sigona, professor of International Migration and Forced Displacement, University of Birmingham.

The role of the Treasury, with David Gauke, former Cabinet minister, and Angela Eagle MP, former Treasury minister.

Boris Johnson's fortunes, with Lord Robert Hayward, Conservative peer and political analyst, and Paula Surridge, senior lecturer in political sociology, University of Bristol.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2021
URL https://www.bbc.co.uk/sounds/play/m00120hs
 
Description Interviews for LBC radio 
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 Appearance on Nick Ferrari at Breakfast 30 June 2021. Intended purpose to communicate the issues still facing Brits in EU / EU citizens in the UK in consequence of Brexit.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2021
 
Description Newsday (BBC World Service) 
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 I was interviewed for Newsday about British citizens living in the EU. The intended purpose was to communicate what the issues were that were outstanding for this population in consequence of Brexit.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2021
URL https://www.bbc.co.uk/sounds/play/w172xv2q0nt8lqy
 
Description Quoted in Associated Press piece on migrant deaths in the English Channel 
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 Contributed to piece on the drivers of irregular crossings in the English Channel
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2021
URL https://apnews.com/article/coronavirus-pandemic-business-health-brexit-europe-34b553ba71c338463e13eb...
 
Description Quoted in Associated Press piece widely syndicated 
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 The piece was widely syndicated by hundreds of international, national and local newspapers.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2021
URL https://apnews.com/article/coronavirus-pandemic-lifestyle-health-travel-middle-east-75ef7107e0337cb2...
 
Description Radio interview ABC Australia 
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 Emmanuel Macron wants more EU co-operation to prevent migrants from arriving in France, following the death of at least 27 migrants who drowned trying to cross the English channel. The group was making the perilous crossing from refugee camps in Calais to England when their overloaded inflatable capsized off the French coast.

Guest: Nando Sigona, Professor of International Migration and Forced Displacement at the University of Birmingham
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2021
URL https://www.abc.net.au/radionational/programs/breakfast/struggle-to-stop-people-smugglers-in-the-wak...
 
Description The World at One (BBC Radio 4) 
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 I was interviewed for The World at One about the consequences of Brexit for British citizens in the EU.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2021
URL https://www.bbc.co.uk/sounds/play/m000x4w6
 
Description UK Government's response to refugee crisis is too little, too confused, too slow - ODI Blogpost (Sigona and Benson) 
Form Of Engagement Activity Engagement focused website, blog or social media channel
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Policymakers/politicians
Results and Impact UK Government's response to refugee crisis is too little, too confused, too slow by Nando Sigona and Michaela Benson
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2022
URL https://odi.org/en/insights/uk-governments-response-to-refugee-crisis-is-too-little-too-confused-too...