Envisaging post-Brexit immobility: Polish migrants’ care intentions concerning their elderly parents
Keywords:elderly care, transnational families, transnational care, Brexit families, ethnomorality of care, migrations, Polish migrants
The United Kingdom’s withdrawal from the European Union will end the European Freedom of Movement and the privileged migration status of EU Citizens in the UK, which will likely affect ‘Brexit families’ and their transnational care arrangements. This is a case study of the biggest migrant group in the UK, namely Poles. Before the Brexit referendum, the first wave of the in-depth interviews identified several types of migrants’ intentions concerning elderly care for their parents who remained in Poland. The research approached intentions as discursive strategies: declarations of care commitment and statements provided to explain the absence of care intentions. The second wave was conducted after the UK had decided to exit the EU and new policies concerning EU citizens were being developed. Brexit’s influence on elderly care intentions is twofold. First, it brings higher uncertainty about future migration regulations and disorientates migrants about the possibilities regarding reunification with their parents in the UK. Second, Brexit appears in the interviews as a discursive construction to alleviate a migrant’s involvement in direct care provision, where they still deem it normatively appropriate to enact this cultural norm, but do not intend to in fact do so.