Brown: UK faces 50 years of conflict as PM fails to understand ‘culture and tradition’ of Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland
Former Prime Minister Gordon Brown has said that Boris Johnson doesn’t understand what holds the Union together, as he predicted 50 years of conflict between its constituent parts.
Brown said the future of the Union was under threat from the Prime Minister’s misunderstanding of the culture and traditions of the different nations.
Unless Boris Johnson stepped in to fix arguments over the constitution then independence movements in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland would continue, he said.
“Boris Johnson has got to understand that this is a union of England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland and each part of that union has got its own cultural traditions, sensitivities, needs and aspirations,” he said.
“The job of a prime minister is to unite the whole country, to bring people together.
“There should be a forum that brings the nations and regions together in a more systematic way so that common problems are discussed, chaired by the prime minister.
“But you can’t assume the United Kingdom is going to hold together if you don’t work at it and that demands efforts, cooperation, policies for cooperation, instruments for cooperation and of course a determination that cooperation is going to work.”
He added: “I fear 50 years of conflict between Scotland and England if we don’t get these problems sorted out, so we [Labour] have got to be the party of solidarity, of talking about empathy, reciprocity, co-operation and sharing.”
He suggested that Johnson’s threat to renege on the Northern Ireland protocol reinforced his argument for an improved devolution settlement between the four nations.