Belfast Telegraph

UK needs a visionary leader, says Professor Brian Cox

The science expert has shared his views on politics, and his concerns for the future of the country.

Professor Brian Cox has said he “might be forced” into politics to champion causes that are not currently being highlighted by any party leader.

The broadcaster and physicist said the country needs a “visionary leader” but he does not see one standing out from any of the parties.

Professor Cox told the Press Association the UK is a frontrunner in the global market in terms of knowledge and scientific advancement, and that it has a chance of making a real impact on helping global environmental matters.

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“I haven’t seen anybody from any party stand out and make this case, and I want to see it.” he said.

“What we need is a visionary leader, a visionary Prime Minister, who stands there and makes this case, and I don’t know whether that person is around at the moment.

“I look across the political landscape in Britain, and I don’t see a JFK there – I don’t see someone who is going to stand there and say, ‘we choose to go to the Moon and do the other things not because it is easy but because they’re hard’.

“I haven’t seen anybody do that. But I hope there is someone there, somewhere.”

Asked if he feels he might be able to do a good job himself in politics, he said with a laugh: “Sometimes I do feel that I might just be forced into it.

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“Politics is obviously very difficult, and running the country is very difficult.

“There are very good people in politics and the civil service so broadly speaking our country runs very well.”

But he added that he thinks what is missing is “a passionate, optimistic vision of what the country can be, and that I worry that we don’t see that kind of politician at the moment”.

“What we need is a government in power that understands that the future of this country is as a high tech, knowledge based, knowledge intensive economy, that’s what it is, that’s the only future that we have and we’re very good at that.”

The academic, who is embarking on a new set of shows from his Guinness World Record breaking Professor Brian Cox Live tour, shared his concerns that Brexit may have a negative impact on the UK’s position in co-operating with the rest of the world on international issues.

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Professor Brian Cox speaks about the BBCâs proposals for its future at the Science Museum in London.

“If Brexit means turning inwards, if it is a retreat from international co-operation, then it will damage the tradition of this country and for a generation, until we re-embrace the world again,” he said.

“That’s my personal view. My instinctive reaction to the global problems we face is that they require global solutions.

“We require nations to work together. Ultimately, if we’re going to prosper as a global civilisation then the connections between countries has to become stronger.”
He added that he feels Brexit is a “weakening of our interaction with our neighbouring countries” and that “it cannot be the right trajectory”.

“I’m well aware there are many issues and many people make their decisions by taking different things into account.

“I’m not naive, but my instinctive reaction is that on the very highest level of the argument is that international collaboration between countries is the future. It has to be.”

Professor Brian Cox Live’s extra shows begin on May 4 and continue until May 26. For further information and tickets visit briancoxlive.co.uk

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