Gordon Brown cautions that Liz Truss’ promise to “ignore” Nicola Sturgeon is the kind of verbal combat the SNP craves.

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The SNP wants to engage in verbal combat, Gordon Brown warns, and Liz Truss’ promise to “ignore” Nicola Sturgeon is just that.

When I was prime minister, I made the decision to invite the heads of all the major political parties in Scotland to dinner at my Fife home.

To demonstrate that my door was open to them, in a literal sense, was the plan.

Both the event and the execution weren’t as groundbreaking as Sidney Poitier’s Guess Who’s Coming To Dinner.

But neither did I anticipate it to.

Then-First Minister Alex Salmond took advantage of the situation to make his customary independence demand.

Without my knowledge, the leader of the Scottish Green Party, Patrick Harvie, was instead live-tweeting from the dinner table, giving his followers on social media a very skewed view of what was happening.

Nevertheless, I was content that I had made the initiative.

As prime minister, I believed it was crucial to extend a hand of cooperation to the members of the devolved parliament.

The leaders of the pro-independence parties were particularly affected by this.

Even if my offer of cooperation was rejected, I still wanted to demonstrate that it was still there.

And let’s be clear: if we want to keep the Union together, the UK prime minister must lead by example above all else.

Because this is what the UK should stand for.

If we truly believe in it, the UK government should always want to cooperate with the governments of Scotland, Wales, and Northern Ireland, even though the government in Scotland is led by individuals who openly admit that their only goal in life is to split the UK apart.

The stakes if we make a mistake are worth repeating even though I know Mail readers won’t need to be reminded.

Naturally, Scots would initially face an uncertain future outside of the Union.

Nobody in a position of authority can deny that the newly independent country would face many questions about its currency, border with England, and public finances, but few answers.

Though this is much broader than just Scotland.

There won’t be a Great Britain, a United Kingdom, a British army, a British navy, or a British airforce if the Scottish question isn’t resolved.

And we would need to tell our national stories in very different ways.

Shakespeare’s famous line about this “sceptered isle,” which was penned in the 1600s at the time the crowns were established, is no longer able to be repeated with the same conviction and contemporary meaning, for example.

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