Former prime minister Gordon Brown has warned against the dangers of "divisive nationalism" in Scotland and the rest of the UK.

The Labour Party grandee, speaking at a public meeting in Edinburgh for the re-election of Labour candidate Ian Murray alongside shadow Brexit secretary Sir Keir Starmer, said neither pro-Scottish independence or pro-Brexit sentiments "will solve the economic problems we face".

Brown was one of the central figures in the Better Together campaign in 2014, which fought to keep Scotland as part of the UK, and was also part of the Labour Government that sent Britain to war in Iraq.

The former prime minister said the economic outlook for a post-independence Scotland is "bleak", with issues "three or four times" worse than what could happen after Brexit .

 

He told the meeting, held at Morningside Parish Church in Edinburgh : "Neither Brexit nor Scotland leaving Britain does anything to solve the basic economic problems we face.

"But it's about more than that, it's about whether you support divisive nationalism across this country.

"I'm worried about Brexit nationalism and I'm worried about Scottish nationalism, because they need an enemy even when it doesn't exist.

"It's an us versus them, there's always a struggle that needs to be taking place."

Brown told the audience that the economic policies put forward by the Scottish Government for an independent Scotland would make the country worse off.

Picking out the idea of a new Scottish pound, Brown said: "That would mean we would need to have reserves which we don't have at the moment, we would need to have a surplus and we have a deficit at the moment and we'd inevitably face the devaluation of that currency."

 

Brown said that would hit mortgages, wages and pensions.

He added: "It's as bleak as that when you look at the economics of independence."

He also added that he "knew" there would be a hard border between Scotland and England.

He said: "I know we would have a hard border between Scotland and England, if the SNP wants to get into Europe then there has to be a border somewhere and that would be at Hadrian's Wall.

"If the economic consequences are so bad for Scotland leaving Europe, then three or four times these consequences would be visited upon us in jobs, national income per head and investment in our economy.

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"At some point, instead of talking about independence and talking about a referendum as a theory, the SNP has to tell some vital truths about what it actually means for people's lives and their jobs."

Brown said he agreed with the First Minister's assessment of Brexit, but said she had to apply the same tests to Scottish independence.

He said: "We agree that there will be very severe consequences for this country.

"There was a study done by Strathclyde University that said we would lose 100,000 jobs, billions in investment, £1,600 per head of national income would be wiped away, all if we leave Europe in a way that the Government wants to do."