Brunel's Dr Simon Weaver has published a book chapter in The Joke Is on Us: Political Comedy in (Late) Neoliberal Times called 'Brexit Irony on The Last Leg and Last Week Tonight with John Oliver: Critiquing Neoliberalism through Caricature'.
The chapter outlines both the populist construction of Brexit discourse and the existence of internal contradictions, ambiguities or incongruities in it that are accurately characterised as ironies. The argument presented is that the ‘situational irony’ of Brexit – one that both presents and hides neoliberal tendencies - is reinforced by the various ‘textual’ or ‘postmodern ironies’ of the discourse – or the actual imaginings of Brexit expressed in public discourse. Comedians have responded to the ironies of Brexit discourse and are predominantly anti-Brexit or highly critical of Brexit politicians. Both Brexit irony and comic responses highlight the significance of the comic and in public understandings of Brexit, for both leave and remain supporters.