Former Prime Minister Gordon Brown last night told people to “rise up” against no-deal Brexit and Boris Johnson’s “xenophobic” Conservative government.
Speaking at a No To No-Deal rally in Glasgow, the recent Kirkcaldy and Cowdenbeath MP said the divisions brought about by Brexit and the threat of further separation by the SNP meant important politics which could bring change to people’s lives was being forgotten.
Mr Brown addressed the event organised by anti-racism group Hope Not Hate at the Gorbels Parish Church in Glasgow.
Mr Brown said: “I believe we can stop Brexit.
“We have to win this fight, for the sake of the children in this country.
“(Boris Johnson) is a man who when he faces a difficult challenge in parliament, he shuts it down. When he faces a difficult challenge with the law, he tries to break it. We the people have to stop him breaking the law.
“Any MPs should look at no-deal and have the courage to ask themselves ‘will medicine supplies be available?’ ‘will food be available?’ ‘will components for our factories be available?’
“If they can’t then they have a duty, in all conscience, to say ‘I cannot go ahead with no-deal’.
“We must protest and continue to protest against no-deal.
“This Brexit being put forward is not the Brexit we were promised.
“We know that this was not the Brexit that was promised. And we know that we have got to continue to expose it.
“I believe that over the next few weeks we need petitions, we need the public rising up, phoning radio stations, we need all the pressure put on this Conservative government so they cannot get away with a no-deal Brexit.”
Mr Brown, who served as prime minister from 2007-2010, said the only way to avoid a no-deal Brexit and further job losses was to not vote for the SNP at the next election.
“The SNP tell us, rightly, that the consequences for Scotland of a no-deal Brexit are very severe. And they pointed to figures which have been produced by the Fraser of Allander Institute in Glasgow that say because of our trade with Europe 100,000 jobs will be at risk.
“But you know they have got to apply their logic to trade with the rest of the United Kingdom as well.
“If 100,000 jobs are affected by our trade with Europe which is £14billion, then how many more jobs are affected if we have a breach in trade with the rest of the United Kingdom.
“And so we have got to point out over these next few weeks that you can’t get out of Brexit and vote SNP without consequences, that they will use it as a vote for independence.
“Never stop believing that we can win this. Never stop believing that our values are the values that really count for this country. Never stop believing that we can replace this intolerant, inward looking, xenophobic government.
“Isolationist, glorying in isolation with a government that believes that believes that Britain is outward looking, that we are tolerant, that we are inclusive, that we are not for any forms of discrimination and we want a fair minded decent Britain instead of the
“People say that we are fighting against the odds. I tell you this: the Labour movement was born against the odds. We grew against the odds, we created a health service against the odds.
““There are going to be meetings all over the country…there was one Liverpool a few days ago, there is one in Edinburgh, there is one in Birmingham, all over the country and if we marshall our forces then a government that is acting dictatorially and undemocratically – because this is not only a no deal Brexit it is a no debate Brexit, it is a no democracy Brexit – we can fight and we can win.”
Mr Brown was joined at the debate by Glasgow MSP Anas Sarwar, who said: “The language of ‘us versus them’, ‘surrendering to the EU’, or ‘bowing to masters in London’, needs to stop.
“We must relearn the ability to disagree well.”