Scotland and Brexit: identity, belonging and citizenship in uncertain times

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This article offers some reflections on the lessons readers might take from the papers in this special issue. These are framed through consideration of three key themes: Scottishness, nationhood and national identity; the search for belonging, not least in relation to migrants’ emotional responses to Brexit; and the practical questions that Brexit poses for citizenship(s) and ‘settled’ status. In considering these themes, attention is drawn towards three areas which are ripe for further study. Several of the articles bring into focus the notion of Scottish exceptionalism, provoking questions about what impacts this exceptionalism, or perhaps more importantly perceptions of it, may have at policy and attitudinal levels. Questions too, are posed about the heterogeneity of perception, experience and response to Brexit amongst ECE migrants in Scotland. Finally, it can be seen that Brexit has been a protracted process and a source of anxiety and anguish, not least for those who have made Scotland their home. Looking forward, there will be more Brexit related tension to come, a prospect hugely complicated by the impacts of Covid-19.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)419-430
JournalScottish Affairs
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 11 Aug 2020


  • Scotland
  • Brexit
  • Identity
  • Belonging
  • Citizenship


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