Geoffrey Cox: Attorney General’s booming voice grabs Twitter’s attention
In an important debate on Brexit legal guidance, some had their heads turned by Mr Cox’s theatrical delivery.
At the start of what’s set to be an intense fortnight in Westminster, you could forgive political journalists for seeking some light relief.
On Monday that came in the form of Attorney General Geoffrey Cox, who gave a rare but important statement to MPs in the House of Commons on the Prime Minister’s Brexit deal.
Geoffrey Cox: “The divorce and separation of nations from long and intimate unions, just as of human beings, stirs high emotion and calls for wisdom and forebearance, calm and measured analysis.” pic.twitter.com/P1bUyBGP19— Ben (@Jamin2g) December 3, 2018
Facing questions from MPs of all parties, Mr Cox defended the proposal’s controversial Irish backstop and the decision not to release the legal advice he gave to the Cabinet over the EU withdrawal.
For some, however, it was all overshadowed by one thing: a booming delivery that seemed more suited to the stage than the despatch box.
Watching Attorney General Geoffrey Cox explain the Brexit legal advice given to the May Govt. is like being transported to the National Theatre. What a mellifluous voice and masterful theatrical delivery.— jwowenuk (@TheOwenTake) December 3, 2018
Please join my campaign for Geoffrey Cox to live stream himself reading The Night Before Christmas— General Boles (@GeneralBoles) December 3, 2018
Geoffrey Cox ... pic.twitter.com/VJaErkfsDw— Rt Hon Sir Peter Mannion KCB MP (@PeterMannionMP) December 3, 2018
Some even felt there was something Prime Ministerial about the display.
Geoffrey Cox as interim PM. A narrative arriving in 10, 9, 8...— (((Dan Hodges))) (@DPJHodges) December 3, 2018
But not everyone was impressed.
Attorney-General posh foghorn Geoffrey Cox might get away with it in Parliament but a working class bloke ranting as loudly in a shopping centre would be carted away in the back of a police van— Kevin Maguire (@Kevin_Maguire) December 3, 2018
What a farce the Commons proceedings are descending to. The Government cannot ignore an instruction of Parliament, but the Attorney General seems intent on doing so on Brexit legal advice.— Andrew Gwynne MP (@GwynneMP) December 3, 2018
In other news, can someone please get Geoffrey Cox an Equity card!?! pic.twitter.com/tUVeQxomRh
Geoffrey Cox comes from that old school of English system “If One Speaks in the BOOMING Voice of an Old Ham Actor from Regional Repertory Theatre, Nobody will Notice that you have said Absolutely Nothing”.pic.twitter.com/Nzshbq1ppC— Jonny Geller (@JonnyGeller) December 3, 2018
The barrister-turned-politician’s forthright style clearly raised the temperature in the chamber.
At one point, as Mr Cox referenced the fact that the proposed backstop could only be terminated with both the UK and EU’s agreement, an MP from his own benches heckled: “It’s a trap!”
Within seconds, many people were making the same joke.
Geoffrey Cox tells MPs there is no unilateral right for either UK or EU to terminate the backstop, prompting Tory MP to shout “it’s a trap!” pic.twitter.com/oGIi7HRhMP— Jim Pickard (@PickardJE) December 3, 2018
Geoffrey Cox discussing the backstop in the Commons and someone has genuinely yelled out "it's a trap!" pic.twitter.com/a67OUZ2o2z— Philip Sim (@BBCPhilipSim) December 3, 2018
In some other testy exchanges with Labour MPs demanding to see his Brexit guidance, Mr Cox boomed “there’s nothing to see here”. Shortly after he informed them it was time they “grew up and got real” as he claimed releasing the documents would be “contrary to the national interest”.
Just another day in Westminster, then.
It's all going well in the Commons... pic.twitter.com/dbBUq00MTr— Richard Wheeler (@richard_kaputt) December 3, 2018