Gordon Brown weighs in on the No campaign

With less than 100 days to go before Scotland votes on whether to leave the UK, former prime minister Gordon Brown has made a dramatic intervention into the debate over Scottish independence.

In an article for The Guardian, he claims that, “neither the government nor the British elites are communicating a compelling vision of Britain’s future”.

He also attacked government ministers for “using the language of threats and ultimatums”. By doing so, he suggests that the No campaign is overlooking the fact that “the voters’ starting point is not the greatness of Britain or the longevity of the Union, but their own needs and aspirations as Scots”.

These comments “will go down badly” with the No camp, says The Daily Telegraph’s James Kirkup, although it “probably won’t directly affect public opinion in Scotland”.

However, it is likely to “raise morale in the Yes campaign and bring disorder and tension to what has previously been a (relatively) united and harmonious No campaign”. His colleague Benedict Brogan goes even further, seeing it as an act of “sabotage”.

However, regardless of how welcome his message is among his fellow ‘No’ campaigners, Brown is “surely right” to warn that the Yes camp could win, says the Daily Mail.

Since Scots are “well aware” of the risks of leaving, supporters of the UK should drop the “patronising tone and relentless negativity” they’ve used so far. Instead, they should “start celebrating the wonders our nations have achieved in our 300-year partnership” as well as the “huge benefits” of sticking together.

Meanwhile, as Martin Vander Weyer notes in The Spectator, the No campaign is being boosted by an unexpected source – younger voters. Far from being persuaded “by the romantic nationalism and anti-English fire of the Yes campaign”, polls suggests that they are opposed to independence.

At the same time, “some 50 school and college debates from Annan to Aboyne” have “produced emphatic No results, among them two large polls of university students in Glasgow”. “For once I salute the wisdom of youth”, writes Vander Weyer.

Merryn

Claim 12 issues of MoneyWeek (plus much more) for just £12!

Let MoneyWeek show you how to profit, whatever the outcome of the upcoming general election.

Start your no-obligation trial today and get up to speed on:

  • The latest shifts in the economy…
  • The ongoing Brexit negotiations…
  • The new tax rules…
  • Trump’s protectionist policies…

Plus lots more.

We’ll show you what it all means for your money.

Plus, the moment you begin your trial, we’ll rush you over THREE free investment reports:

‘How to escape the most hated tax in Britain’: Inheritance tax hits many unsuspecting families. Our report tells how to pass on up to £2m of your money to your family without the taxman getting a look in.

‘How to profit from a Trump presidency’: The election of Donald Trump was a watershed moment for the US economy. This report details the sectors our analysts think will boom from Trump’s premiership, and gives specific investments you can buy to profit.

‘Best shares to watch in 2017’: Includes the transcript from our roundtable panel of investment professionals – and 12 tips they’re currently tipping. The report also analyses key assets, including property, oil and the countries whose stock markets currently offer the most value.