Former British Prime Minister Gordon Brown has warned that the United Kingdom is heading for a break-up if Conservative frontrunner Boris Johnson becomes the prime minister.
In an article written for The Mail Online, Brown said Johnson is the biggest risk to the stability of the United Kingdom in more than 300 years.
He said Scotland would have to ‘know its place’ if the former foreign secretary took power.
He said that would put the 312-year Union in greater danger than ever before – and at risk of a catastrophic break-up.
Mr Johnson is the ‘best recruiting sergeant’ the Scottish nationalists could hope for, Brown wrote.
‘Whether through ignorance, carelessness or malice, he will be prepared to play fast and loose with the Union when it suits his personal electoral needs – not least by whipping up English nationalist fervour against the prospect of Scottish nationalists holding the balance of power,’ he writes.
‘Were Scotland in dire need, his answer would be unequivocal: ‘I propose that we tell them to hop it’.’
Mr Brown’s warning follows a poll at the weekend that found more than half of Scots would vote to leave the UK if Mr Johnson won the keys to No 10. The Panelbase survey of 1,024 voters found 49 per cent support independence and 51 per cent are against it.
However, when asked how they would vote if Mr Johnson were to become prime minister, 53 per cent said they would back independence.
During last week’s Prime Minister’s Questions, SNP Westminster leader Ian Blackford used parliamentary privilege to call Mr Johnson a racist. He quoted a poem published in the Spectator while Mr Johnson was editor, describing the Scots as a ‘verminous race’ and cited his references to Africans with ‘watermelon smiles’ and Muslim women in ‘letterbox’ burkas.
In his article, Mr Brown argues that ‘even if we strip away [Mr Johnson’s] inflammatory rhetoric, we find that for the past 20 years he has vehemently opposed the three constitutional pillars upon which today’s union is built – Scottish parliamentary representation, the devolution settlement and the funding arrangements’.
Read Gordon Brown’s article: