‘Brexit' and the Scots in England: a diaspora facing uncertainty?

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Brexit has brought many uncertainties, especially for UK-based EU migrants. Our concern is with a much less studied group, albeit one of the largest socio-political sub-groups within England – the Scots. These migrants live in a different country but the same state, although recent constitutional decision making has not been kind to them. In 2014, they had no vote in the independence referendum and in the EU referendum they witnessed Scotland voting significantly differently to England, resulting in ongoing tensions between the UK and Scottish Governments. If Brexit leads to another independence referendum, what are the implications for Scots in England, in terms of their citizenship, identity, and residence? We explore their status in a (r)UK outside the EU, we speculate on whether some might return or if they would experience hostility within post-Brexit England. Might the current position of the English Scots tell us something about the future England-Scotland relationship?
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)354-369
Number of pages16
JournalScottish Affairs
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 17 Aug 2020


  • Scotland
  • Brexit
  • national identity
  • diaspora
  • England
  • constitutional politics
  • nationalism


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