Former Prime Minister Gordon Brown has lashed out at the propagators of Brexit at any cost, including a no-deal scenario, for undermining the British union in an article for The Observer. The ex-Labour leader insisted that Britain is “devoid of a unifying purpose powerful enough to hold it together and to keep four nationalisms – Scottish, Irish, English and also a rising Welsh nationalism – at bay” under Boris Johnson’s government.
He lambasted the new Cabinet, saying that it is driven “not by the national interest but by a destructive, populist, nationalist ideology”.
“What is most worrying is not just that so many think the union will end but how at least for now so few appear to care”, Gordon wrote, also adding “Unionism appears to be sleepwalking into oblivion”.
He claimed that the idea of Britishness “could not survive” if the UK leaves the EU without an agreement and urged “to stop no-deal in its tracks”, suggesting this would “prevent the rise of dysfunctional nationalism”.
He spoke critically about the current government’s methods, saying it includes “choosing an enemy and accusing opponents of treason”. In particular, he lashed out at Johnson’s aide Dominic Cummings, considered the mastermind behind the Vote Leave campaign, accusing him of depicting “the House of Commons as the enemy in a ‘people v parliament’ election, with the people led to believe… that their parliament is prepared to betray democracy and abandon traditional national values”.
Brown also took aim at Labour shadow chancellor John McDonnell, suggesting that he “fell into the nationalist trap” for saying that a possible Labour cabinet would not stop another Scottish independence referendum.
The newly-elected PM has categorically stated that he is going to steer the UK from the EU by the 31 October deadline. He said that London would work to secure a new and “better” agreement with Brussels, but if the EU didn’t compromise, the UK would “have to get ready for a no-deal exit”.
Even though the UK voted to leave in 2016, 62% of Scotland voted to remain and opinion polls since then have seen these numbers grow. While 45% of Scots voted for independence 5 years ago in 2014, polling by Lord Ashcroft, released last week, showed that 52% support independence with 48% in favour of the union, The Times reports.
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