Brexit as a Discourse

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Sadaf Masroor Alam Shah, Dr. Riaz Hussain , Nawaz Masroor Alam Shah , Muhammad Sumair Zahid


Discourse related to any political event is a portrayal of the views of the participants involved. These views in turn are based on the underlying ideologies, beliefs and, concepts. Intertextual connections, among other aspects of discourse, make a discourse more meaningful and understandable in a given context. This article is an attempt to bring to light the various shades of discourse of Brexit, in terms of its participants and characteristics that emerged on the canvass of British political scene in the wake of 2016 EU Referendum campaign.  Moreover, it goes on to explore instances of intertextual connections in post referendum Brexit discourse. For this purpose, a number of placard images from the “People’s Vote march”, an anti-Brexit march organized on October 20, 2018, were selected. This paper brings to light the dichotomy of Britons into Leavers and Remainers during Brexit referendum and further bisects them into senders and receivers to elaborate the participants of Brexit discourse. A review of the literature reveals Leavers’ discourse to be chiefly based on populism, Euroscepticism, British sovereignty, global Britain, anti-immigration, racism, misrepresentation of facts and discreet handling of language by the leaders of leave camp. On the contrary, it is found that Remainers’ discourse mainly relied on regarding immigrants as strength of UK and EU membership as a source of imparting stability and productivity to the UK on the one hand and on highlighting the loss of healthcare benefits to the UK and NHS and prevalence of unemployment on the other hand.

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