Envisaging Post-Brexit Immobility: Polish Migrants’ Care Intentions Concerning Their Elderly Parents

Thursday, 19 July 2018: 15:30
Oral Presentation
Agnieszka RADZIWINOWICZ, University of Warsaw, Poland
Anna KORDASIEWICZ, University of Warsaw, Poland
The research on transnational care underlines the importance of including in the analysis both receiving and sending countries’ migration regimes (Kilkey & Merla, 2014). Leaving the European Union will mean rebordering for the United Kingdom and abandonment of the European Freedom of Movement rules, which will have an impact on migrants’ transnational and co-territorial care arrangements. The international scholarship demonstrates that when migration policies become stricter, migrants opt to stay, and settlement replaces circularity strategies (Massey, Durand, & Pren, 2016). The UK Home Office proposal disclosed in 2017 plans to regulate and circumscribe the migration from the EU. It is also to be expected that the access to the UK social benefits will be limited for the EU citizens (Kilkey 2017). All that can have practical consequences for the elderly care.

The paper analyzes the case of Polish migrants in the UK, the biggest migrant diaspora in the Great Britain, often brought up in the discussions by the ‘Leave’ voters in the Brexit referendum. Its aim is to explain how Brexit affects Polish migrants’ care intentions concerning their parents ageing in Poland and their perception of the changes that Brexit will bring about. Polish care model is a family-by-default type and permanent outbound emigration can lead to care deficit in that country. Research on care intentions is especially important not only for the attempts to predict future care arrangements, but also to understand the meaning of care for the people engaged in the production of the care effect (Kordasiewicz, Radziwinowiczówna, & Kloc-Nowak, 2017). The analyzed data present a unique opportunity for a reevaluation of care intentions, as long as migrants have been interviewed before the Brexit referendum (in February and March 2016), and will be revisited three years later, in March 2018, a year before the looming Brexit.