chapter  9
The official vision for ‘global Britain’
Brexit as rupture and continuity between free trade, liberal internationalism and ‘values’
WithFranco Zappettini
Pages 15

This contribution focuses on internationalism as driving Brexit discourses. Argumentation analysis of a corpus of documents published by the Department for Exiting the European Union, in which the British government sets out its vision for ‘a new partnership with the European Union’ and ‘a truly global Britain’, shows that Brexit is legitimised as both rupture and continuity of liberal international narratives. While the notion of ‘global Britain’ and free trade reproduces historical discourses informed by mercantile rationales, and indulges in post-imperial nostalgia and a resurgent English nationalism, this vision simultaneously rejects the EU’s transnational project in favour of economic neoliberalism.