Using in-depth interviews with British citizens in Belgium, British citizens in the UK who have explored applying for another citizenship and EU27 citizens in the UK, I explore how Brexit impacts decisions among the three groups on whether to apply for naturalisation. The Brexit process has introduced significant uncertainties about its outcome, its impact on the rights and mobility of the groups involved and, in the UK, about xenophobia and the economy. Most British interviewees have explored applying for the citizenship of an EU member state – including Belgium, but also Ireland, France or Italy – by residence, ancestry or marriage, in order to safeguard their rights. EU27 interviewees were more ambivalent about applying for UK citizenship, as citizenship would safeguard their rights, but they were uncertain about the desirability of remaining in the UK. I show that the uncertainties linked to the Brexit process make the naturalisation decision time-dependent, complex and uncertain. More generally, I propose to reconceptualise most naturalisation decisions as contingent, tentative and uncertain tactics, rather than well-calculated and foreseeable strategies.
Djordje Sredanovic, The tactics and strategies of naturalisation: UK and EU27 citizens in the context of Brexit, Journal of Ethnic and Migration Studies, 2020.