Универзитет Шефилд, позив на семинар “European deportations: UK exclusion of EU citizens to take back control”

Dear Colleagues,

You are warmly invited to a seminar hosted by the University of Sheffield Migration Research Group (MRG). Dr Agnieszka Radziwinowiczówna, University of Wolverhampton, will present recent research exploring ‘European deportations: UK exclusion of EU citizens to take back control’Dr Michaela Benson, Goldsmiths University of London will join the seminar as a discussant.

Date: Thursday 25th June

Time: 12.30 – 2.00pm (UK time)

Registration:  Places are limited so please register your interest here and you will receive a link to join.

European deportations: UK exclusion of EU citizens to take back control

On the 30th of April 2020, under the national lockdown in the UK, a chartered flight left Stansted airport with 35 deportees and as many Home Office escorts on board. One of the passengers had been tested positive after showing COVID-19 symptoms in detention and nonetheless had boarded the plane; others were not tested at all. It was impossible to keep sufficient distance between the passengers to prevent the spread of the deadly disease on the plane. The flight was headed to Poland in spite of the fact that the Polish borders had been closed for 47 days. The deportees had to go home for compulsorily 14-days self-isolation – of course, if they still had a place they could call “home” in Poland.

During this seminar I will present the genealogy of the April deportation flight to Poland. I will explain why European Union citizens are deported during the Brexit transition period, when the EU Treaties and the four freedoms (including the Freedom of Movement) remain in force in the UK. The Home Office started targeting the EU citizens with its hostile environment policy even before the British voted to leave the European Union. I will argue that the UK used the forced removals in order to negotiate state sovereignty from the European Union. Similarly, the EU Settlement Scheme and the new points-based immigration system may convert the EU citizens into undocumented and thus deportable immigrants. This exclusion-based negotiation of sovereignty has not affected all the EU citizens equally but has disproportionally targeted the citizens of the “new” Member States. These examples evidence a longue durée process of excluding more vulnerable Europeans, practices which look set to escalate following the UK’s transition from the EU.

For more information, please contact Rebecca Murray: r.e.murray@sheffield.ac.uk.