Andrew Davies seems to have infected others with his ‘Brexit is breakfast’ slip of the tongue. Here is Andrew Neil, the BBC presenter, producing a similar slip of the tongue on the Daily Politics programme while interviewing Gavin Barwell.

The ‘word substitution’ error can be observed on line 04 in the transcript below. Andrew Neil (AN) meant to say ‘what you propose on Brexit’ but mistakenly substituted the word ‘breakfast’ for ‘Brexit’. The 0.7 second pause is followed by laughter from panel members. Neil makes light of the slip of the tongue with humour before correcting himself in line 19 and re-phrasing the question.

01: AN: but how (.) how can this country
02:     come together in anyway
03:     until it knows
04:     what you propose on breakfast
05:        (0.7)
06: GB: on xx
07: AN: xx
08:       ((laughter))
09: AN: or even breakfast
10:     I mean I would propose for breakfast bacon and eggs
11:     I’m not sure .hhh
12:     Zoe xx (obviously)muesli
13: ZW: it’s a ((laughter))
14: AN: play with the xx
15:     I’m not sure what the Time is
16:     probably croissant
17:     do you think
18:       ((laughter))
19:     let’s get back to brexit
20:     h- how can the country come together in anyway
21:     until we know (.) what it is you’re after

AN – Andrew Neil
GB – Gavin Barwell
ZW – Zoe Williams

External link to clip

We don’t know exactly what causes slips of the tongues (speech errors) but they happen to all of us, even experienced BBC presenters. In the case of the Brexit > breakfast slip, it is probably the phonological similarities between the two words which leads to the slip rather than any subconscious desire to eat.

If you discover anymore Brexit > breakfast slips please let me know via the comments section below. Here is another BBC presenter having problems with the word.

Daily Politics, 2nd December 2016, 25m15s approx.