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Goodbye or See You Soon: Examining the Similarities and Differences in External Migration Policy between the UK's Entry and Pending Exit from the EU

Amy Manktelow

On the 23rd June 2016, there was a tectonic shift in the relationship between the UK and the EU but will this be felt as severely across all policy areas? External migration policy is one of the only agendas that has unified the two actors over the 43 years of their union and is not something that will disappear upon the enactment of Article 50. Currently there is little discussion of what will happen to the UK's involvement in external migration control projects, such as Frontex, that have taken both sides many years to establish and embody the policy ambition of the EU and the UK. This paper will examine the similarities and differences in the external migration policy between entry and exit negotiations to demonstrate that the policy around the control of external migration is inextricably linked. Analysis of policy documentation from the negotiations during the UK's accession and now during early exit negotiations illustrate that many of the same concerns regarding migration from both actors are still present. Using the Field Theory of Pierre Bourdieu this paper will evaluate the claim that external migration policy will always unify Westminster and Brussels. By using the themes of cooperation and securitization this paper will demonstrate that the hard Brexit that Theresa May is seeking will not be possible in the context to external migration control policy. It will also touch upon that this could be exacerbated as domestic feeling towards immigration in European states becomes increasingly hostile alongside the rise in election success for right wing political parties.

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