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International Refugees in London, England: Post-2016 European Union Referendum

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International refugees have continuously shaped the identity of modern London, England, creating a diverse cityscape. However, the referendum in June 2016 indicated a perceived desire of the majority of United Kingdom (UK) citizens to leave the European Union (EU) and

International refugees have continuously shaped the identity of modern London, England, creating a diverse cityscape. However, the referendum in June 2016 indicated a perceived desire of the majority of United Kingdom (UK) citizens to leave the European Union (EU) and the domination of far-right, anti-immigrant rhetoric in British politics. These elements have given rise to the question of how refugees will find belonging in a geographical space that continues to create borders at both a national and borough level. As the Brexit vote still stands, barriers to applying for refugee status and successful resettlement could increase - complicating the lives of refugees wanting to resettle in the UK. Urban spaces such as London, Manchester, and Birmingham have transformed into places where the lives of the British cross daily with the lives of those forcibly removed from their home state. With minimal current research on the relationship between international refugees in London and the current social and political identity of the city, post-Brexit vote, I believe there is a gap in understanding to be filled. This gap includes defining the relationship between place, people, and politics in the context of the city of London as well as the boroughs that comprise the city. In addition, this research explores the future of London as a place at a borough-level and aims to understand how the idea of borders and nationalism have been uncovered and subsequently amplified through the referendum. The following paper includes data collected from British refugee agencies and inhabitants of five London boroughs that will add to existing research in the form of academic and professional journals and published reports produced by refugee agencies and the British government in hopes to identify the current nature of the relationship between international refugees and Londoners and how this relationship might shift in the future.

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Date Created
2019-05