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EU citizens living in the United Kingdom and EU citizens-qua-UK nationals living in other Member States following the referendum on the UK’s continued membership of the EU on 23 June 2016 became ‘the numbered’ 'others'. Their identities were redefined overnight not by them, but by state authorities and their co-EU citizens. In this chapter, I trace the process of 'othering' of EU citizens, which had started several years before the referendum in 2016, and unravel the key moments, forces, and strategies that made it possible by utilising a discursive theoretical approach. I argue that the quest for EU citizens’ rights in the UK under Brexit, just like the quest for migrants’ rights, is a quest as much for the realisation of the fundamental status of Union citizenship as for the effectiveness of the principle of respect for human dignity.
This book proposes a new institutional constructivist model, for social scientific and legal enquiries, based on the interrelations within the social and political world and the application of change in EU laws and politics. Much of the research conducted in social sciences and law examines the diverse activities of individuals and collectivities and the role of institutions in the social and political world. Although there exist many vantage points from which one can gain entry into understanding how agents in the world act, interact, shape and bear the world, socio-legal scientific epistemology has found monism and dualism to be convincing models. This book argues that current models do not capture the complexity of our micro-worlds, macro-worlds and meso-worlds. Nor can they account for the forms and patterns of socio-legal change. Mind, time and change are brought together in an attempt to contribute to socio-legal epistemology and to enhance its toolkit.