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Brexit-related food issues in the UK print media: setting the agenda for post-Brexit food policy

Strong, H. & Wells, R. ORCID: 0000-0002-0329-2120 (2020). Brexit-related food issues in the UK print media: setting the agenda for post-Brexit food policy. British Food Journal, 122(7), pp. 2187-2201. doi: 10.1108/bfj-08-2019-0582


Purpose: The purpose of this paper is to explore how Brexit-related food issues are being presented in the UK print media.

Design/methodology/approach: Using the news database Nexis UK, relevant articles were identified based on key search terms, ‘Brexit’ and ‘Food’ or ‘Farm!’ or ‘Agricultur!’. The search criteria was set to include articles with three or more mentions of these terms. The search period was 6th April – 5th July, 2018.

Findings: The quality newspaper genre, and remain-supporting newspaper, The Guardian, in particular, dominated Food Brexit coverage. 17 distinct Food Brexit issues were covered, with food security and subsidies receiving the most coverage in leave-supporting publications and agriculture, trade and labour receiving the most coverage in remain-supporting publications. Dominant narratives and frames can be identified in the reporting, illustrating newspapers’ tendency to promote certain viewpoints in support of their own standpoint on Brexit. In all publication types, political voices feature far more prominently than any other stakeholder group, highlighting the significant potential for this group to influence public opinion and the post-Brexit food policy agenda.

Research limitations/implications: The authors only examined newspapers over a limited time period. Reporting in other media and at different stages in the Brexit negotiation process
may differ.

Practical implications: Media reporting on Food Brexit issues has the potential to influence post-Brexit food policy.

Originality/value: This is the first study to look at reporting on Food Brexit in the UK media.

Publication Type: Article
Additional Information: © Copyright 2020 Emerald Publishing Limited
Publisher Keywords: Food, Brexit, Food Policy, Media, Newspapers, Agenda Setting
Subjects: J Political Science > JN Political institutions (Europe) > JN101 Great Britain
P Language and Literature > PN Literature (General)
S Agriculture > SB Plant culture
Departments: School of Health & Psychological Sciences > Healthcare Services Research & Management
SWORD Depositor:
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