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Brexit Brits Abroad

Aug 9, 2019

In this episode Michaela is joined by Helen McCarthy, a researcher at MPI Europe and PhD candidate at Middlesex University. Recorded in the week that Boris Johnson became Prime Minister, they revisit Helen’s work about how Spanish officials were preparing for Brexit’s impacts on British retirees, draw out the different conditions and circumstances that support British lives in Spain and consider how these variously may shape the outcomes of Brexit—including in the case of No Deal—for individuals. We talk pensions, healthcare and taxation … and consider all the different actors and stakeholders caught up in securing the post-Brexit lives of Britons in Spain (and indeed, elsewhere). But we also talk about the parallel case of Spanish nationals living in the UK, the topic of Helen’s PhD research. Her reflections on the role of the European debt crisis in bringing about (some) migration to Britain and differentiation within this population, which includes naturalised Spanish citizens originating in Latin America, offers complex insights into how these intra-EU migrants respond to Brexit.


Find out more about Helen and her work here (, and you can read Helen’s report The End of the Retirement Dream here (