Ex-PM Gordon Brown discussed Brexit in a speech to the Institute for Government, arguing that the UK government's negotiations process for the last two years has been "inward looking, non-inclusive, partisan because it has been driven by internal party considerations."
"The British public would be absolutely shocked and maybe will be in the next few weeks when they find that after two years of negotiation we have years ahead of negotiation, we have no agreement on the long-term objectives and indeed there is no possibility of this Cabinet or this government getting a consensus in its present form on the long-term objectives," Brown said.
Our event with former Prime Minister Gordon Brown on what makes a successful #Brexit will be starting soon — watch it live here from 12:15pm https://t.co/c365mAZrUE— Institute for Gov (@instituteforgov) November 12, 2018
Follow the discussion @ifgevents #IfGBrexit pic.twitter.com/aP1osXs1eY
The former Labour party leader told the audience that the UK and its public was rushed into the Brexit decision without clear understanding of its consequences and called such approach 'short-termism.' He highlighted lack of investigations into the all possible scenarios and outcomes for the UK economy following Brexit.
Brown predicted that even if a deal is struck in the next weeks, the nation will continue to feel left out by its own government — the "Westminster bubble" as he called it.
"Even if we leave in March and it all goes to the plan the PM would like to adopt, she has at least 2 more years of negotiation on almost exactly the same issues of single market, customs union, Norway, Canada, free trade agreements, Northern Ireland. The public will be exposed to the same process of inward looking decision-making driven by partisan considerations, not inclusive, no open, not allowing the public a way in," he argued.
Brown also said that he believed that there will now be a second referendum.
If nothing changes, the former PM predicted great divisions to plague the country.
"…more divided than during the three-day week during the 1970s, more divided than during the miners' strike in the 1980s, more divided than during the poll tax disagreements of the early 1990s, more divided than over the Iraq War," Gordon Brown warned.
The former PM said that if the House of Commons doesn't hold an open debate on the Brexit deal, it would be an "absolute travesty."
"There is no reason in my view, you can't go back to Brussels and say ‘this deal is not the way we want, there is another deal'… it is possible to go back and renegotiate."
Britain needs a new kind of Royal Commission of inquiry, charged with hearing voices of the British people, holding with people consultative exercises about migration, sovereignty, economic concerns. Such measure is crucial, according to Mr. Brown, as the country faces two more years of negotiations on these issues.
Brown, who held the PM's post in 2007-2010, was succeeded by David Cameron, who eventually led the country to vote in the Brexit referendum in 2016.