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Abstract  

Pre-Brexit media discourse in the UK focused extensively on the end of free movement, the governance of European mobility, and its relationship with state sovereignty. This article, methodologically anchored in Critical Discourse Analysis, discusses how the potential post-Brexit deportee, namely the ‘Vile Eastern European’, is depicted by the leading pro-Leave British press. The Vile Eastern European is juxtaposed with a minority of hard-working and tax-paying migrants from the continent, as well as with unjustly deported Windrush and Commonwealth migrants. As the newspapers explain, the UK has not been able to deport the Vile Eastern European because of the EU free movement rights. The press links the UK’s inability to remove the unwanted citizens of EU countries with its lack of sovereignty, suggesting that only new immigration regulations will permit this deportation and make the UK sovereign again. The article concludes that the media discourse reproduces and co-produces the UK ideology of deportability that has been the basis for the EU Settlement Scheme and new immigration regulations.