Economics isn’t the only reason emigrants come home. Referendums play a role too

Personal values influence people’s decisions to leave and return, writes Dr Marc Scully

‘Gender and sexuality have consistently acted as drivers of emigration from Ireland, independently of the economic situation of the time.’ Photograph: iStock/Getty Images

‘Gender and sexuality have consistently acted as drivers of emigration from Ireland, independently of the economic situation of the time.’ Photograph: iStock/Getty Images

“Wondering how many “so, should we move back” conversations happening around Irish kitchen tables in Britain this weekend?”

So tweeted the Channel 4 reporter Paraic O’Brien in the immediate aftermath of the referendum on the Eighth Amendment in May. Having had that conversation around my own kitchen table in Nottingham two years ago, in the aftermath of the Brexit result, it was not difficult to relate.

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