GORDON Brown has claimed there will be “50 years of conflict between Scotland and England” if the independence debate is not resolved.

The former prime minister called on Scottish Labour to take on the SNP over the constitution and rebrand themselves as the “party of social justice”.

Speaking on Sky News’s Trevor Phillips on Sunday show, the ex-Labour chief was asked what Anas Sarwar’s party needs to do to reverse its fortunes at the ballot box.

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He said: "We've got to show that we're both the party of social justice and that the Scottish National Party are not delivering that despite all their promises, and we are the party of solidarity.

"In this interdependent world, there is no future in nations that are neighbouring nations fighting each other and I fear 50 years of conflict between Scotland and England if we don't get these problems sorted out.

"We've got to be the party of solidarity, talking about empathy, reciprocity, co-operation and sharing.

"Of course, we've found during the vaccination effort that when we co-operate we get things done."

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Brown was also asked about the row over the Northern Ireland Protocol and its implications for the Union.

He said: “I think Boris Johnson has got to understand this is a union of England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland. Each part of that union has got its own cultural traditions, its own sensitivities, its own needs and its own aspirations and you’ve got to work at this.

“The job of a prime minister is to unite the whole country, to bring people together.”

The former prime minister added: “I believe there should be a forum that brings together the nations and the regions in a more systematic way so that common problems are discussed, chaired by the prime minister.

“But you can’t assume the United Kingdom is going to hold together if you don’t work at it and that demands efforts, cooperation, policies for cooperation, instruments for cooperation and of course a determination that cooperation is going to work.”

Brown's comments were dismissed by the SNP, who reiterated demands for a second referendum.

A spokesperson said: “Scotland is increasingly vulnerable under Westminster control. The only way to keep Scotland safe from the long-term damage of Tory austerity cuts, Brexit and power grabs is to become an independent country, with the full powers to build a strong, fair and equal recovery.

“People in Scotland have the right to determine their own future in a post-pandemic independence referendum. Neither Boris Johnson nor Gordon Brown can stand in the way of democracy.”