‘Brexit’ and the postnational dimension of English in Europe

Mario Saraceni, Britta Schneider, Christine Bélanger

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter (peer-reviewed)peer-review


As Britain is leaving the European Union, speculations have been made about the future of the English language in Europe. Some predict that the importance of English will diminish once ‘Brexit’ eventually takes place, while others feel that the language will be free to develop its own European characteristics, without Britain acting as a kind of guardian and ‘protecting’ it. Such predictions assume a strong bond between English and Britain and a form of deference that Europeans have to that bond. In this chapter, we reject those assumptions and argue that the presence and the uses of English in Europe are such that the position of Britain within or outside the EU is irrelevant. By examining specific contexts, we illustrate how the roots of English reach deeply in the European sociocultural soil and are immune to Britain’s status within or outside the European Union.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationThe Routledge Handbook of World Englishes
EditorsAndy Kirkpatrick
Place of PublicationLondon
ISBN (Print)9780367144395
Publication statusPublished - 3 Feb 2021

Publication series

NameRoutledge Handbooks in Applied Linguistics


Dive into the research topics of '‘Brexit’ and the postnational dimension of English in Europe'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this