GORDON Brown has been widely mocked for making yet another major intervention in Scotland's constitutional debate.
The former Prime Minister put forward proposals for a "patriotic" third way that would see more powers devolved from Westminster to Holyrood.
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Former First Minister Alex Salmond compared Brown to Rip Van Winkle, the Dutch settler, who fell asleep in the Catskill Mountains on the eve of the American war of independence, waking up 20 years later.
Speaking at the Festival of Ideas in Kirkcaldy, Brown claimed a new form of “home rule” was the only way to avoid years of "bitter division".
"The third option, a patriotic Scottish way and free from the absolutism of the SNP and the do-nothing-ism of the Tories, is now essential because post-Brexit realities make the status quo redundant and require us to break with the past.” he said.
"The status quo has been overtaken by events because unless powers now with the European Union are repatriated from Brussels to the Scottish Parliament, the Welsh Assembly and the regions, Whitehall will have perpetrated one of the biggest power grabs by further centralising power. employment and energy.
"The patriotic way means that Scotland is not caught between a die-hard conservatism that denies the Scottish Parliament the powers it needs and a hard-line nationalism that throws away the resources we secure from being part of the Union."
Nicola Sturgeon tweeted: “The @ScotGov paper 'Scotland's Place in Europe' argued for such a transfer of powers - and was rebuffed by UK govt.”
Speaking to The National at the SNP conference, Salmond said: "Gordon Brown's proposals are stuck in the same time warp as he was in 2014, and why I can understand why he put them forward in 2014 and I can even understand why he is putting them forward now but what I don't understand is why there's no reference to the fact he's said it before and what has happened since.
"I mean where has he been for the past two and a half years while hs proposal has been rejected?
"He did indicate he was going to be the Guardian for the Vows he was making in 2014. Now he resembles Rip Van Winkle coming out of a cave and saying 'Goodness I've got an idea for a third way of federalism, with no memory of what exactly he did two and a half year ago."
The former First Minister told journalists that Brown's proposals would flounder in the same way that plans put forward by the Scottish Government to keep Scotland in the UK and in the European single market had.
"If the Tories had implemented Gordon Brown's proposals from 2014 we wouldn't be in the position we are in now," he said.
"For example the Prime Minister threatening to veto a referendum on independence."
He added: "He faces the same difficulty in 2014 as he does in 2017. His only route to delivering this or the repatriation of powers from the European Union is via some future Labour Government adopting the proposal. The difficulty with that is obvious, most people don't believe there is going to be a Labour Government in the next few years or 20 years and the Conservative party for the past three months have rejected the proposals from Nicola Sturgeon on repatriating powers from the European Union and on the ability of Scotland to sign international agreements."