Brexit, borders and belonging
in Immigrants as outsiders in the two Irelands
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The free movement of EU citizens and the absence of a hard border between the Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland have facilitated easy movement across the island for many migrants. People born in EU countries, and those who have attained EU citizenship, are equally able to live and work on both sides of the border, and a growing number have family, community and employment connections in both jurisdictions. This chapter examines the emerging implications of the decision of the United Kingdom to leave the European Union (Brexit) for the lives of migrants on both sides of the border between the Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland. In Northern Ireland, reduced rights of residency and access to employment will directly affect EU migrants, while non-EU migrants are also affected by a shifting labour market heavily reliant on migrant workers. In the Republic, internal and external border controls agreed to facilitate EU protections and an ongoing relationship with the UK will have an impact on all migrants in their ability to move with ease, while the labour market also experiences significant shifts.

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