Ahead of Boris Johnson expected to be elected on Tuesday as Tory leader Gordon Brown has accused Johnson of preparing to push the British economy “off a cliff,” as he is determined to deliver Brexit by 31 October in a “do or die” approach.
The former Tory prime minister said a no-deal exit with the EU will be a “self-inflicted wound” comparable in military terms to the Charge of the Light Brigade.
Brown said in a speech to the Hope Not Hate campaign in London he warned Brexiteers that there are real dangers of descending into a brand of “paranoid nationalism” that risks the break up of the UK.
Brown further said Johnson could be remembered by history “not as the 55th prime minister of the UK but as the first prime minister of England.”
Brown said, “The message to Boris Johnson is plain and urgent: Don’t push Britain off a cliff on 31 October.
“If no-deal goes ahead on Thursday 31 October, 24 hours later – on what Brexiteers will call ‘freedom Friday’, but others ‘black Friday’ – there will almost certainly be hold-ups at Dover; by Saturday, pile-ups on our motorways; by Sunday, food prices will be going up – a 10% rise is the latest estimate – and by Monday, the pound – already sharply down on its pre-Brexit value – will be under pressure.
“By Tuesday, medical drugs from mainland Europe will be less accessible, and a week after Brexit, companies will be complaining that vital stocks and components are not reaching them, and that is likely to put their workers on short-time.”
According to a poll by Hope Not Hate it suggests that the 3m voters that backed to leave in 2016 now oppose a no-deal Brexit, and that Brexiteers are being driven by “blind faith, dogma and emotion.”
He added, “When future historians look back, they will be shocked to discover how such an act of economic self-harm that runs wholly counter to the national interest could ever be portrayed by Nigel Farage and Boris Johnson as the height of patriotism, and criticism from any quarter be dismissed as a betrayal of Britain and all we stand for,” he said.
“British history includes self-inflicted wounds – military disasters such as the Charge of the Light Brigade and the fiasco of Gallipoli – but no peacetime act of self-harm can rival a no-deal Brexit for which we are so woefully unprepared.
“Brexiteers may be trying to reinvent a ‘Britain alone’ Dunkirk spirit, the Britain of indomitable fortitude, but all too easily this hijacking of patriotism descends into an inward-looking, intolerant and adversarial brand of paranoid nationalism hell-bent on blaming all who disagree.”