Stephen Hawking thinks Brexit is too complex even for him

Billy Bambrough
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Stephen Hawking has grappled with some of the most difficult scientific problems over his career
Stephen Hawking has grappled with some of the most difficult scientific problems over his career (Source: Getty)

Stephen Hawking, perhaps the world's greatest living scientist, has said he wouldn't fancy trying to tackle the UK's exit from the European Union.

Speaking last night at the Pride of Britain Awards the 74-year-old professor told Prime Minister Theresa May that Brexit may be too "complex" a situation even for him.

The Brief History of Time author was presented with the life time achievement award by May at the event, sharing the stage with some of the UK's most inspiring disadvantaged and disabled people that have overcome adversity.

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Hawking told May:

I deal with tough, mathematical, complex questions every day but please don't ask me to help with Brexit.

The Prime Minister has been battling to strike a balance between national and business interests ahead of the formal start to Brexit negotiations, set for March next year.

In recent weeks, the government's response to the City's fears over leaving the EU has left some concerned, with markets worried the UK could be headed for a so-called hard Brexit that takes the country out of the European Single Market.

May has repeatedly said that any Brexit deal would seek to curb immigration, thought to be one of the main reasons why many people opted to leave the EU.

Senior EU officials have warned that if the UK insists on immigration controls it will be denied access to tarriff-free EU trade.

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A recent deal with Japanese car manufacturer Nissan that will mean it will build its next Qashqai and X-trail models at its Sunderland factory – having previously warned it may opt not invest in the region following the Brexit vote – lead to accusations the government had struck a so-called sweetheart deal with the company.

At the event last night Hawking also warned over the effects of climate change, but said he was confident "the next generation will rise to these challenges".

He added that he still hopes to achieve his greatest ambition to undertake a flight into space.

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