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Opinion: Lessons for both sides of Brexit debate

PUBLISHED: 08:30 13 October 2019

Comedian Steve Allen believes there has been a travesty of democracy.

Comedian Steve Allen believes there has been a travesty of democracy.

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There has been a travesty of democracy. The people were asked, they made clear their opinion and their decision has been overruled. Yet somehow the powers that be expect us to just deal with it.

I am, of course, talking about the naming of the science ship the Sir David Attenborough. That's the ship that the public were given the chance to name. People voted to call it Boaty McBoatface.

The experts - and I think we've had enough of experts - decided that the public had made a silly mistake and their decision would make us lose standing in the international scene.

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Even if Brexit gets delivered I'm assuming the people who love democracy will be out rioting over this. This wasn't a legally binding vote, so the two have that in common.

OK, there are some differences between naming a boat and Brexit. Firstly the experts offered a compromise. They called the main vessel the Sir David Attenborough but they named a small submersible Boaty McBoatface. I don't think that's a good enough compromise. That's like saying Brexit will happen but it will only be the Isle of Wight that gets to leave the Customs Union.

They also played a trump card by naming it after Sir David Attenborough instead. Everyone loves Dave. It's the perfect name.

Is there a lesson for Brexit there? If we stop using words like Surrender Act and start calling things the Dame Maggie Smith Agreement it'd be passed through parliament in no time.

Whatever happens I think there are lessons for both sides of the argument that I hope we learn before Brexit becomes known as Votey McVoteface.

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