Gordon Brown warns of Brexit ‘paralysis’

Britain could be “paralysed” for years because Westminster parties have not “woken up” to the causes of Brexit, ex-prime minister Gordon Brown says.

He said the country risked getting “trapped” in Brexit “small print”.

The former Labour PM told the BBC politicians also needed to focus on low wages, migration and the NHS.

He declined to criticise Jeremy Corbyn personally – saying the current Labour leader was a “phenomenon” who engaged young people in a way he couldn’t.

Mr Brown was the UK’s prime minister between 2007 and 2010 and backed Remain in the EU referendum.

‘Failure to act’

Speaking to BBC political editor Laura Kuenssberg, he said Parliament had not yet grasped the “drivers of the dissatisfaction” that led to the 2016 vote to leave the European Union.

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Unless these “root causes” were addressed, he said: “We will not be able to unite as a nation and we face a future where we are paralysed into inaction by our failure to get our act together and move on.”

He listed stagnant wages, “left-out communities”, migration, sovereignty and the NHS as issues that needed to be addressed alongside the finer points of Brexit, describing the referendum result as a “huge political earthquake”.

Appealing to the “Westminster leaderships”, he added: “We’re not addressing these problems, we’ve got to address them now.”

He was also asked about the sale by the government of another tranche of shares in Royal Bank of Scotland.

Mr Brown, who was prime minister when the bank was bailed out, said there was “no excuse” for selling the shares at under their potential value.

He also warned that “there are still real risks in the financial system”.

See BBC Interview

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