‘Just look at the mess. And they haven’t even left’: (EU) Citizens Debating Brexit

Publication: Scientific journalJournal articlepeer-review


This paper addresses how a group of predominantly EU citizens discussed Brexit, the UK and its relationship with the EU between 2016 and 2020. These discussions took place on Debating Europe, an online platform that invites EU citizens to debate topics relating to the EU and, thereby, aims to strengthen the EU-wide public sphere (H. Rivett, personal communication, June 11, 2019). Against the backdrop of past discourse analytical research on the UK-EU relationship and considerations regarding the EU / European public sphere, I home in on discussions posted between the 2016 referendum and ‘Brexit day’ in January 2020. Using NVivo’s case classification, I exclude postings that identify the poster as a UK national. The resulting data set consists predominantly of postings by EU citizens and is examined with a focus on various linguistic and discursive parameters, such as referential and predication strategies and intertextual references. Findings indicate that Brexit is understood as particularly disadvantageous for the UK. While Brexit is also depicted as negative for the EU in some postings, there are also postings that suggest that the UK has never been an integral part of the EU and that Brexit might not be problematic for the EU at all.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)127 - 143
JournalCritical Approaches to Discourse Analysis across Disciplines (CADAAD)
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2021

Austrian Classification of Fields of Science and Technology (ÖFOS)

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