Have you heard it before?

Gordon Brown Image copyright Getty Images

It might pain me to say it, but plenty of political interventions that we report on go unnoticed.

That's why this afternoon, talking to interested members of the public - not all Labour voters but interested parties nonetheless - who had turned up to hear the former PM Gordon Brown speak, it was striking that unprompted many of them mentioned they thought he might "do a Scotland".

In the Scottish referendum, Mr Brown - at the 11th hour - certainly did provide an injection of emotion on the unionist side at the end of a campaign that had focused on the economy and lacked a bit of passion.

The impact of his speeches in those closing days when much of the political establishment had been surprised even by the possibility that the public seemed perfectly likely to reject their arguments is hard to quantify, and of course many nationalists reject it entirely.

But for many supporters of the Union I remember speaking to at the time, his arguments did have a power and a resonance, and of course it was possible for him to deliver this message in a way that was inconceivable for a Conservative or Liberal Democrat.

At the closing rally of the campaign back in September 2014 he said: "What kind of message does Scotland send to the world if, tomorrow, we said we are going to give up on sharing, we are going to smash our partnership, we are going to abandon co-operation and we are going to throw the idea of solidarity into the dust.

"This is not the Scotland I know and recognise."

As I've written before the parallels of the Scottish referendum and this European campaign are both illuminating and misleading.

Gordon Brown and other Labour voices, like shadow foreign secretary Hilary Benn today, are now making more emotional pitches about our place in the world, rather than the tight economic focus that has been the Remain camp's priority.

Mr Brown is stepping up his campaigning, despite his previous significant unpopularity, at a time when those currently in power at Westminster seem to be failing to reach many voters.

But listening to him much of his speech this afternoon wasn't just a parallel to his Scottish speeches, but an echo.

This afternoon, in an almost identical plea to the gathered audience to the one he made in September 2014, he said: "What sort of message would we send to the rest of the world on 23 June if we decided to walk away from our nearest neighbours.

"This is not the Britain I know, this is not the Britain I believe in."

Will that almost identical message will lead the country to "do a Scotland"? To be excited and energised by the prospect of change but in the end back away?

Gordon Brown's influence in England is likely to be less powerful than it was on his home turf in the Scottish debate.

But with Labour stepping up its efforts at the 11th hour, different arguments for Remain might claim more of this debate.

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