Volume 21, Issue 2
  • ISSN 1569-2159
  • E-ISSN: 1569-9862
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This paper investigates how Brexit was de/legitimised by different Labour actors in a corpus of texts published after the referendum (2016–2020). It thus contributes an perspective to understanding discursive dynamics of European (dis)integration by building on the notorious ‘European question’ historically debated inside Labour and on the polysemy of Brexit constructed by/reflected in such discourses. The analysis, conducted at lexical-semantic and discursive-pragmatic levels, points to distinct strategic, ideological and ambivalent forms of de/legitimation of Brexit in the discourses of Labour. While strategic and ambivalent de/legitimation point to the Brexit debate being mainly driven by political communication logics, ideological de/legitimation highlights a deeper struggle inside Labour over EU-rope, especially in relation to international vs. national conceptualisations of socialism. While EU-rope was de/legitimised (and Brexit legitimised) by advocates of ‘socialism in one country’, reverse stances tended to be adopted by supporters of ‘international socialism’.


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  • Article Type: Research Article
Keyword(s): ambivalence; Brexit; CDA; ideology; Labour; language; socialism; strategy
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