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11 August 2019, 17:26
A former Northern Ireland Secretary has warned that Boris Johnson could fuel a resurgence of The Troubles if he continues to pursue no-deal Brexit.
Former Prime Minister Gordon Brown has warned that the future of the UK is in question, blaming a "destructive, nationalist ideology" for the union "sleepwalking into oblivion".
Writing in the Observer, Mr Brown said the only way to prevent "the rise of dysfunctional nationalism" was to "stop no-deal in its tracks".
Speaking to Michael Crick, Mr Brown's former Northern Ireland Secretary Shaun Woodward said the Prime Minister was going to fuel a resurgence of violence in Ireland if he delivers a no-deal Brexit and a hard border is put between the Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland.
Mr Woodward said the Prime Minister was "frightened" he wouldn't win a general election, and that if he - and his advisor Dominic Cummings - were confident of their position they would call a vote.
"It would be entirely possible for the government to ask the EU to defer the date of exit one more time until there's an outcome to the general election and it becomes clear what that is.
"And if Mr Johnson and Mr Cummings are so certain of their position, why not have the general election and presume you will have your majority to pursue this reckless policy?
"The reason they are frightened of it is it probably isn't going to give them a majority in a general election."
Michael Crick said: "The problem they have, is that if they have a general election before Brexit has happened they're going to lose, as they did in the European elections, a lot of the Conservative vote to the Brexit Party and to the Liberal Democrats and the chances of winning a general election before Brexit has been achieved are pretty small."
Mr Woodward replied: "In other words, Mr Johnson isn't confident of his position."