The Republic of Ireland is home to the third largest British migrant population in the EU and yet there is very limited knowledge and understanding of this population in academic or political discourse. While concerns over the future of the Ireland/Northern Ireland border has been one of the most contested and protracted issues of the Brexit negotiations considered in relation to the peace process, trade and economics, and Northern Ireland, the impact of changes to the border for UK citizens who have made their homes and lives in the Republic of Ireland has not been part of this discussion. From the practice of everyday lives made possible by the ease of travel across border, to reinvigoration of inter-ethnic tensions and sectarian affiliations through, for example, the hardening of the border, what happens with the border might have a range of outcomes for resident Britons.
The rights of UK citizens living in Ireland rest on the principles of the Common Travel Area—a bilateral agreement between the UK and Ireland. Brexit thus has the potential to shape the experience of Britons in Ireland in markedly different ways to that of their compatriots elsewhere in the EU.
The project team are conducting research into what Brexit means for Britons living in Ireland, including in-depth interviews people living in Dublin, Galway and Donegal between October 2018 and February 2019.
Please get in touch with our project lead Dr. Michaela Benson if you are willing to be interviewed for this element of the research.