Brexit uncertainties: Political rhetoric versus British core values in the NHS

Georgia Spiliopoulos

Research output: Chapter in Book/Conference proceedingBook Chapterpeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)


The National Health Service (NHS) has depended on an overseas healthcare workforce since its inception. Nurse recruitment patterns and inequalities based on race, ethnicity and other social divisions can be traced throughout its history, despite systematic efforts to portray such an emblematic institution as 'inclusive'. The 2016 EU Referendum and 'Leave' result brought to the fore anxieties over British national identity and exposed contradictions such as increasing NHS dependence on a migrant healthcare workforce and populist rhetoric calling for more stringent immigration controls. The NHS figured in political propaganda and political rhetoric by the Leave campaign to stir emotions of national pride, setting a tone of hostility towards those who do not ascribe to perceived values of 'Britishness'. A historical overview of political, populist and policy responses towards nurse migration and immigration controls hence provide important insights into what has been termed as 'normalisation of exclusion'.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationResearch Handbook on Political Propaganda
PublisherEdward Elgar Publishing Ltd.
Number of pages13
ISBN (Electronic)9781789906424
ISBN (Print)9781789906417
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2021
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Social Sciences (all)


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