Nicola Sturgeon POLL: Should FM drop independence plea after Gordon Brown warning?
Trade deal: Greg Hands tells SNP MP she ‘can’t have it both ways’
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To reduce tensions should Nicola Sturgeon abandon her plans for a second Scottish independence referendum? Vote in our poll and let us know what you think in the comments section below. The SNP fell short of a majority at last month’s Scottish parliament elections, but are still demanding another poll on separation.
Scotland voted to remain part of the UK in 2014 by 55 percent of the vote to 45 percent.
Writing for the Daily Telegraph Mr Brown vowed “I will not be silent”. in the debate over a second referendum.
He warned nationalism is rising across Europe and has become “the dominant ideology of our age.”
Mr Brown said: “We thought this clenched fist nationalism had ended in the first half of the twentieth century.
“But, in our time, it has reappeared all over Europe: in the propaganda of Le Pens’ remodeled French National Front, Germany’s ADF, Italy’s League of Brothers, the Wilders party in Netherlands, and even in social democratic Scandinavia.
“Political nationalism has become, once again, the dominant ideology of our age.”
Ms Sturgeon has vowed to hold a second independence referendum by 2023.
However Boris Johnson is strongly opposed, arguing the SNP should focus on Scotland’s coronavirus recovery.
The SNP are hoping to get another referendum bill passed at Holyrood with Green Party backing.
In his article Mr Brown warned Britain could be heading for a constitutional crisis.
He wrote: “I foresee a major constitutional crisis next year as the Scottish nationalists demand another referendum and I will not be silent.
“The very existence of our country now depends on whether we can rescue patriotism from the clutches of this narrow nationalism by addressing the deeply felt economic, social, cultural, and political grievances that Boris Johnson will continue to misinterpret unless he starts to listen to more knowledgeable voices on the ground in Scotland and elsewhere.”
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After leaving the UK Ms Sturgeon wants Scotland to join the EU, despite this risking a hard border with England.
A recent Institute for Government report found Scotland trades three times more with the rest of Britain than the entire EU.
Any Scottish application to join the EU would have to be approved by all 27 existing members.
Some, such as Spain with Catalonia, are struggling with their own separatist movements and could be reluctant.
Mr Brown urged the Government to show how the UK can help people across the nation.
He commented: “If we are to avert years of constitutional upheaval, we have to show we can make Britain work as a political community, building on the kind of cooperation we have seen between our four nations and regions in delivering mass vaccination.
“There is indeed a golden thread that connects our centuries-old British commitment to tolerance and liberty with modern ideas of fairness and social responsibility.
“We have to rediscover that shared ethos and with it a shared mission, shared objectives and priorities; in other words, an enlightened patriotism that makes Britishness about more than holding a blue passport.”
Mr Brown added: “This week’s G7 should be the launching pad for a version of Global Britain that the whole country can identify with.
“A United Kingdom whose leadership on global vaccination, the closure of tax havens, the delivery of net carbon zero and the revival of global trade and growth is proof that when cooperation across nations works we all reap the benefit.”
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