Ex-president of European council says failure to reach a solution could increase pressure for Scottish independence

Crashing out of the EU without a deal would risk the break-up of the United Kingdom, the former president of the European council has warned.

Herman Van Rompuy, the former Belgian prime minister who was council president until 2014, told the Observer that he believed the threat of a no-deal Brexit was a new “operation fear” tactic being used by the government. But he said it would not work with the EU and warned that such an outcome would end up creating new pressures over Scottish independence.

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