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Title: “Immigration, that’s what everyone’s thinking about …” The 2016 British EU referendum seen in the eyes of the beholder
Authors: Guerra, Simona
First Published: 2019
Publisher: John Benjamins Publishing
Citation: Journal of Language and Politics, 2019, In Press
Abstract: This article examines the 2016 British EU referendum and the domestic debates through the citizens’ voices in the media, specifically on the emotions and narratives, on The Guardian, The Daily Telegraph and The Daily Express, the week before the referendum. British citizens felt, in their words, “bullied because of [their] political correctness” and pointed their anger and dissatisfaction against the EU (and Merkel’s) “obsession for open borders”. The analysis underlines that these emotions and narratives, combining immigration and sovereignty, have remained embedded in the post-Brexit days, and go back not just to Billig’s banal nationalism (1995), but show that voting Leave represented respect towards true British values, the “core country” as conceptualised by Taggart (2000). Powellism (Hampshire 2018) and Wright’s “encroanchment” of Englishness (2017), and the analysis on the immigration narrative explain how anti-immigration and sovereignty discourse is persisting and is influencing, more broadly, the social and political relation of Britain with Europe.
ISSN: 1569-2159
Links: TBA
Version: Post-print
Status: Peer-reviewed
Type: Journal Article
Rights: Copyright © 2019, John Benjamins Publishing. Deposited with reference to the publisher’s open access archiving policy. (
Description: The file associated with this record is under embargo until publication, in accordance with the publisher's self-archiving policy. The full text may be available through the publisher links provided above.
Appears in Collections:Published Articles, Dept. of Politics and International Relations

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