Consuming Brexit: alimentary discourses and the racial politics of Brexit

Muzna Rahman (Manchester Metropolitan University)


This article argues that Brexit has been reported and represented within the media and elsewhere through the language and imagery of food and consumption. Whether this is articulated via real anxieties about the effects that pulling out of the European single market will have on British foodways, or through the specific lexicon deployed when imagining the metaphors of Brexit, gastronomical readings of the various ‘texts’ of and around Brexit can provide productive ways of both understanding and contextualising the politics of the present moment. Specific national alimentary discourses surround and permeate the cultural and political context of Brexit, particularly with regard to race. This essay examines the intersections of national identity, whiteness and British food cultures in order to examine and interrogate some key images associated with Brexit, and considers the ways that colonial and neo-colonial narratives – in particular discourses around consumption and the alimentary self/body – are reanimated and re-deployed in representations of it.

Keywords: food, Brexit, colonialsim, neo-colonialism, nostalgia, nationalism

Full text: OAJ_issue8_rahman (pdf, 237 KB).


Biographical note 
Dr Muzna Rahman is Lecturer in English at Manchester Metropolitan University. She specialises in food studies and literature. She is currently working on a monograph, titled Hunger and Postcolonial Writing, which will be published by Routledge in 2021.