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Britain’s exit from the European Union; the agreements and bargaining on the way to this notorious institutional “divorce”; the debate which has kept the Parliament busy since 2017, and has become rather heated in recent months, given the plan to reach an agreement by March 2019: MEPs post about all this on Twitter with particular frequency.
The #brexit hashtag was the second most trending tag in English used by MEPs over the last three months, with 1181 tweets by 86 MEPs from all sides of the debate.
But there are plenty of other hashtags used in tweets referring to the topic: the most pessimistic is #brexitShambles, used 99 times by MEPs, the vast majority members of the Progressive Alliance of Socialists and Democrats (S&D). Among those tweets is the highly critical tweet posted by British MEP John Howarth, lamenting 11 months of deadlock:
Using Edjnet's Quote Finder tool, the article collects the hashtags used by MEPs to tweet about Brexit.
Then there’s #BrexitDeal, used 37 times, mostly by enthusiastic supporters of Brexit:
On the other hand, Richard Corbett from S&D has also used the same hashtag, but with an entirely different tone:
There is also #NoDealBrexit, used in 32 tweets by 12 MEPs, #BrexitChaos (30 tweets by 11 MEPs), and #brexiteers (19 tweets), a name used for Brexit supporters. Then, in decreasing order of frequency: #BrexitReality, which already implies a position on the issue, the more neutral #BrexitAgreements, then #HardBrexit, #DespiteBrexit, and #Brexitcast. Also worth noting is #PeoplesVote, referring to the demand for a second Brexit referendum. Besides that, a large number of tweets tagged #TheresaMay refer to the current negotiations.
These hashtags are often used together in the same tweet, so they can’t simply be added up to reach the total amount of times MEPs tweeted something about Brexit. Nevertheless, the prevalence of these hashtags does demonstrate the position the issue holds in the agenda of MEPs.
EDJNet’s Quote Finder tool allows users to explore MEPs’ official communications on Twitter, providing a way to see which issues are on the European political agenda, and the terms in which those issues are discussed officially by those dealing with them.