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Migrant NHS nurses as ‘tolerated’ citizens in post-Brexit Britain

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<mark>Journal publication date</mark>31/01/2023
<mark>Journal</mark>The Sociological Review
Issue number1
Number of pages18
Pages (from-to)183-200
Publication StatusPublished
Early online date12/05/22
<mark>Original language</mark>English


With this article we present European Union (EU) and non-EU nurses’ lived experiences of feeling ‘unwelcomed’ and ‘unsettled’ in a heightened xenophobic environment, in the workplace and elsewhere, following the 2016 EU Referendum. Brexit has exposed long-standing structural inequalities which oppress and disempower the NHS migrant labour force. Migrant nurses, a highly mobile and skilled workforce, were feeling increasingly disenfranchised and insecure in their employment. Drawing on notions such as tolerated citizenship and the contested political boundaries of belonging, and taking a situated intersectionality approach, we examine everyday bordering practices in the UK where the cultivation of a hostile environment is becoming increasingly prevalent. We contribute to the debates on forms of othering in post-Brexit Britain and question the instrumentality of policy interventions, closely connected to the ‘dangerous politics of immigration control’, which have far-reaching implications for long-term settlement of migrant nurses and other healthcare migrant workers.