A Discourse Analysis of the UK Referendum Campaign on EU Membership, Elisabeth Weißbecker (IEP, Germany)

In this IEP Research Paper the author Elisabeth Weißbecker uses Ruth Wodak’s Discourse-Historical Approach to analyse “The Facts of Life say Leave” speech by Michael Gove in order to examine how the case for Brexit was made in the referendum campaign. Weißbecker shows that his argumentation relies on numerous misrepresentations of the EU and the delegitimisation of the opposing ‘Remain’ camp by ridicule, in order to convey that leaving the EU is a promising prospect while staying is a danger. Gove’s argumentation benefits from a historically negative EU-discourse based on negative media coverage, politicians’ EU-bashing rhetoric, a cultural distance and a disdain for supranationalism, suggesting that the referendum result can be traced throughout the UK-EU relationship.

Download the paper here: http://iep-berlin.de/en/new-research-paper-published-discourse-analysis-uk-referendum-campaign-eu-membership/