[lg policy] meeting to contemplate UK language policy after Brexit

Dave Sayers dave.sayers at cantab.net
Fri Jul 15 10:44:36 EDT 2016

Amid the more general bewildered head-scratching about the future of everything, does 
anyone have any thoughts about how UK language policy might be affected by departure 
from the EU? I've copied this to a range of email lists hopefully bringing together 
people interested in language policy across the UK.

I hesitate to offer to organise anything (summer schedule absolutely groaning) but 
perhaps we could have a semi-formal meeting of minds, to scratch heads and think 
through the implications?

Topics could include (!)....
- the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages and other relevant European 
- recognition of 'European languages' in different contexts (schools, service 
translation, etc.)
- participation of UK researchers in European language policy research networks
- continued relations with European minority language organisations like Mercator and 
- border policy and asylum regimes in relation to language;
- Scottish independence and/or UK federalism in relation to minority languages;
- in the other nations not so vocal about independence, does this severing of 
European links nevertheless divert attention inwards and perhaps spur on independence 
movements - re-linking language and nationalism as resources and planning becomes 
more localised? (Recall this is all happening during a wholesale devolution of 
governance towards local authorities in the UK since 2011.)
- European 'autochthonous' and 'allochthonous' languages, e.g. might this have some 
benefits for languages in the UK hitherto less well supported due to being 
'non-native' in the EU, and do the UK's hitherto 'native European minority languages' 
now become 'allochthonous'?

I have lots of questions, basically. Anyone want to meet up for some sort of 
roundtable thing? Maybe in late August or early September. We could make it formal 
enough to justify claiming travel funding, but informal enough not to require primary 
research. I don't see that as disingenuous! It would just be a genuine exploratory 
meeting of perplexed language policy specialists thinking through how this might all 
pan out. If you're up for this kind of dizzied collective blithering and group hug, 
get in touch! Also feel free to volunteer to lead on the organisation!

Actually, to save my inbox... I'll do what I usually do in this sort of situation and 
make a Google spreadsheet for everyone to add their details and we can start up a 
group email discussion once everyone has added their details there: 


Dr. Dave Sayers, ORCID no. 0000-0003-1124-7132
Senior Lecturer, Dept Humanities, Sheffield Hallam University | www.shu.ac.uk
Honorary Research Fellow, Cardiff University & WISERD | www.wiserd.ac.uk
dave.sayers at cantab.net | http://shu.academia.edu/DaveSayers
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