‘Bloody Jocks’ (The Scots in England): Certainly Uncertainty and Change?

BREXIT has brought about many uncertainties. There has already been speculation regarding the position of UK based EU nationals, post-Brexit. Our concern is with a much less studied group, one of the largest sociological/socio-political sub-groups within England; the Scots. This large group of migrants, rather uniquely perhaps, live in a different country but remain within the same State.

Recent constitutional decision making has not been kind to them. In 2014, English based Scots had no vote in the Independence Referendum, even though it could have fundamentally changed their homeland relationship/status. In the EU referendum, they witnessed Scotland voting significantly differently to England, resulting in ongoing tensions between the UK and Scottish Governments. If Scotland undertakes a ‘Scexit’ all of its own, this would result in the Scots in England – a significant transnational group – being forced to make decisions about their citizenship, identity, and residence in a very different (r)UK.

 Citizenship is certainly the core issue; English Scots face a potentially uncertain future. What would their status be in a (r)UK outwith the EU, while Scotland might be part of the EU but not of the UK – or vice versa? Would this nearest Scottish diaspora (in number about 12% of the current Scottish population) return home? If they remain, would they feel welcome in (r)UK? Would they begin to suffer racism within post-Brexit England or is this already beginning to happen? Does the current position of the English Scots tell us something about the future relationship between England and Scotland?

This paper seeks to answer some of the questions already being asked about those ‘bloody Jocks’.

Murray Stewart Leith (University of the West of Scotland)
Duncan Sim (University of the West of Scotland)

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