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The changing status of European Union nationals in the United Kingdom following Brexit: The lived experience of the European Union Settlement Scheme

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Fraser-Butlin, Sarah 


Following Brexit, European Union citizens now find their rights to live and work in the UK have changed and they had to make an application under the European Union Settlement Scheme, established under the terms of the Withdrawal Agreement, by 30 June 2021 to enable them to continue to live in the UK lawfully. This article examines the experience and perceptions of those navigating the European Union Settlement Scheme and how they feel about life in the UK post-Brexit. It raises questions about identity and belonging. We also examine the other routes European Union nationals, and their family members, are choosing to use to secure their status in the UK. Our research highlights how the impacts of Brexit and European Union Settlement Scheme are unevenly felt and experienced by different European Union national groups. The article concludes that it is likely that we will only be able to measure the true extent of the ‘success’ of the European Union Settlement Scheme after the application gateway has closed on 30 June 2021, by learning what happens to those who fall between the gap, especially those more vulnerable.



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Social & Legal Studies

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SAGE Publications


All rights reserved
ESRC (ES/T000716/1)
Economic and Social Research Council. (grant number ES/T000716/1 ESRC)
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