WATCH: Gordon Brown Says Boris Johnson Is "Tearing The UK Apart"

30 August 2019, 14:57 | Updated: 30 August 2019, 15:07

The formed UK Prime Minister has accused Boris Johnson of "shredding the constitution" with his plans to suspend parliament next month.

Gordon Brown has said that Boris Johnson is tearing the country to pieces by creating "competing nationalisms" that will take "years if not decades" to reconcile.

Speaking at the inaugural meeting of the Our Scottish Future think tank, the former Prime Minister stated, "We meet at the end of a week which has triggered the biggest peace-time constitutional crisis in recent history - an ugly battle between a sovereign Parliament and a government claiming it is a non-sovereign Parliament - with questions being raised not just about what kind of Brexit but what kind of Britain."

He continued, ""This is now about the very survival of the United Kingdom. Only four weeks into his premiership, Boris Johnson is not only shredding our constitution but tearing the country apart with no plan to bring people together again and no unifying national project to ever do so."

"Leadership should be about healing divisions and not accentuating them."

Mr Brown commented directly on the impact of Boris Johnson's decision on the unity of the UK.

He stated, "Today I see a Britain that has never been so divided - Leavers versus Remainers, north versus south, cities versus towns, young versus older - a Britain now being broken into pieces by competing nationalisms."

"We now have Scotland-first nationalism, England-first, Northern Ireland-first and Wales-first nationalisms - all challenging the very idea of one United Kingdom and creating divisions."

He also commented on the effects this will have on Scotland, stating, "Scotland is now trapped between two nationalisms - Boris Johnson's, which is anti-European and ignoring Scotland's interests and Nicola Sturgeon's, which is now so hardline that she now proposes a big shift from their 2014 referendum position to exit the UK customs union, abandon the UK single market and ditch the UK pound."

His statements follow Boris Johnson's decision to temporarily close down the House of Commons from the second week of September until October 14 when there will be a Queen's Speech to open a new session of Parliament.

When the move was announced on Wednesday, Boris Johnson said it was "completely untrue" to suggest that he was suspending parliament to push through a no-deal Brexit, and insisted that he needed a Queen's Speech to set out a "very exciting agenda" of domestic policy.

He said, "There will be ample time on both sides of that crucial October 17 summit, ample time in Parliament for MPs to debate the EU, to debate Brexit, and all the other issues."

Watch the full speech at the top of the page...