Gordon Brown claims there will be a “crisis” next summer over Brexit
The former Prime Minister is not hopeful about the UK’s chances of securing a good Brexit deal and even suggests there will be a “crisis point” where voters should be allowed another referendum.
Appearing on Newsnight, Mr Brown said: “I think we’re going to come to a crisis point next summer.
“I can’t tell you exactly how it’s going to work out but this is what’s going to happen: by next summer the public will have made up their mind but the four red lines that the Government had actually set in place are not going to be achieved, they are going to be crossed.
“So we will not have proper control of borders, we will not have proper control over our money – we’re going to pay loads of money to the European Union – we will not have proper control of our courts and law because will still be governed in many ways by the European Court of Justice and we will have proper control of trade because we won’t have individual trade agreements for years.
“And so all the propositions made by the Leave camp, including the £350 million a week for the NHS, they’re not being achieved.”
Gordon Brown served as Chancellor of the Exchequer from 1997-2007 and was a prominent Remainer during the referendum.
He suggested that there could be the prospect of a second referendum if the electorate changes their mind.
He added: “So, next summer we’ve got to assess the position and, in my view, you cannot go back to the electorate and say ‘you were wrong’, you can’t do that.
“People have made their decision, it was made in Scotland, it’s right for them to see that respected and in a democracy once a decision is made you have to respect it in each area where it’s made.
“But what you can say is, is there a game changer? Is there something we didn’t get right the last time that would persuade millions of Leave voters to think it was worth going for Remain?”
BBC Political Editor Laura Kuenssberg said: “Just to be completely clear, it sounds like you are suggesting that the Labour Party should be holding out the possibility for people revisiting the decision if things change in the EU.”
Gordon Brown: “Yes, I don’t think you should be saying at this point you should have another referendum.”
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Ms Kuenssberg pressed: “But that possibility should be on the table?”
But Mr Brown continued regardless: “What I think you should be saying is: is there new evidence, is there a game changer, is there something that is different from what we’ve learned about what’s happening in Europe or what we’re now learning about what’s happening in Britain that we’ve got to look at?
“And the right time to assess that is when we have on the table what I think will be an inadequate agreement, breaches the lines and doesn’t give the Leave campaign the satisfaction it had.”
Ms Kuenssberg asked the former Labour leader, “as a student of Labour history”, whether he thinks Jeremy Corbyn is ready for Government.
Kuenssberg said Mr Brown was suggesting a second referendum was still on the table
Mr Brown replied: “Jeremy Corbyn is a phenomenon. We’ve got to accept that, he may have disagreed with me on many issues but I respect the fact he’s a phenomenon.
“Expressing people’s anger about Universal Credit, what happened at Grenfell Towers, affordable housing, inequality in our country, tuition fees and he is articulating that anger.”
Ms Kuenssberg said there are members within the Labour Party who are not fans of Jeremy Corbyn and who blame Tony Blair and Gordon Brown for “turning New Labour’s success into bitterness”.
Mr Brown called Jeremy Corbyn a phenomenon
Mr Brown replied: “I don’t accept that, I worked with Tony for 24-years. We worked together on all the difficult issues.
“We financed the Health Service massively, we introduced tax credits that took two million children out of poverty and two million pensioners out of poverty.
“But, of course, there were disagreements, there were always policy disagreements. It’s inevitable in politics that you have different views on different issues.”