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Nation, Separation and Threat: An Analysis of British Media Discourses on the European Union Treaty Reform Process


Benjamin Hawkins, London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine (LSHTM), 15–17 Tavistock Place, London WC1H 9SH, UK, email


This article examines the framing of the European Union in British media debates surrounding the negotiation of the Lisbon Treaty. As such, it analyzes the discursive context in which both citizens' attitudes and government policies towards the EU are formed. It identifies a predominant, Eurosceptic discourse that dictates the terrain on which wider debates about the EU are conducted. This discourse views the EU through the lens of the nation-state and frames the relationship between the United Kingdom and the EU in terms of separation and threat. The United Kingdom is excluded from the EU mainstream, which works to undermine its interests.