The English physicist is the author or co-author of over 950 scientific publications and is best-known for presenting a string of science programmes including his BBC ‘Wonders of…’ series. But he was also an opponent of Brexit and called for another vote on the issue, despite the UK deciding to leave the EU. Since then, Prof Cox has taken to social media to share his aspirations of rejoining the bloc, whilst simultaneously taking aim at the Government.
In October he claimed “the moment [Boris Johnson] is gone” the UK will “begin a process of negotiating” with the EU – adding that “the only way to take back control” is to rejoin.
But he also caused quite a stir on Twitter when he aimed fire at Home Secretary Priti Patel on plans to intercept migrants crossing the Channel.
She wrote: “We need the cooperation of the French to intercept boats and return migrants back to France.
“I know that when the British people say they want to take back control of our borders – this is exactly what they mean.”
And Prof Cox shared a piece of his mind.
He replied: “I’m so sick of this ‘the British people’ nonsense.
“It’s inflammatory and divisive and also errant vacuous nonsense with no meaning in a multi-party democracy.
“The phrase should be banned from political discourse.”
But not everyone agreed.
One response read: “Woke professor calls for the phrase ‘the British people’ to be banned. He would never say this about ‘the French people’ or ‘the German people,’ of course.”
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“The British people are proud and pay a lot to this country. I’m sorry you have no patriotism.”
Prof Cox attempted to clear the situation up in a later tweet.
He said in August 2020: “Some are misunderstanding this.
“The point is that invoking ‘the will of the people’ or derivatives in promoting policy is a well-rehearsed propaganda technique and has no place in our democratic dialogue.
“Once elected, Government must seek to unify, not to divide.
“Furthermore, governments can be radical and reforming without using division as a governing technique.
“This government has a large majority and need not apologise for its policy choices – it was elected on a manifesto. But it should calibrate its language much more responsibly.”