Brexit and the borders and boundaries of the European Union


  • Dragoş Ciulinaru Radboud University

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The article makes the case for the study of borders and boundaries as intertwined concepts that bear multiple implications for understanding the prominence of anti-migration in the public discourse. In this sense Brexit is approached as the epitome of the rebordering of Europe and the analysis’ focus falls on the influence on the outcome of the referendum of the discourses of ‘invading’ Eastern Europeans that burden the British state. The data used includes the declarations of British political leaders, found in media articles and in the official communication of the British Government, over the period of the campaign for the Brexit referendum, as well as in relation to the main milestones of Romania’s European integration. The referendum campaign rhetoric is placed within the wider strategy for obtaining restrictions and exceptions from the principles of freedom of movement in order to curb the mobility of the poor and of those perceived as threateningly different. At the same time, the case of Brexit reveals how outsiders are strategically portrayed as invaders and parasites in order to reclaim territorially binding powers.




How to Cite

Ciulinaru, D. 2019. Brexit and the borders and boundaries of the European Union. Intersections. East European Journal of Society and Politics. 5, 3 (Nov. 2019). DOI: