Speaking during a lecture on social justice as part of the Festival of Politics at the Scottish Parliament, he said: “I don’t think it’s right personally that we have a situation when we believe in the principle of social justice applied fairly to everyone and we have tuition fees free in Scotland for Scottish students, free to anyone from the rest of the European Union, but we charge someone who comes from England.
“And I think that will become increasingly a difficulty as tuition fees in England go up. I’m not saying there is an easy solution to it, but there should be a negotiation about it.
“It seems to me not in tune with the principles I support of social justice that one group of people gets an unfair deal against another group of people who are getting a fairer deal.”
Mr Brown argued that social justice was better pursued working together rather than setting different parts of the UK against each other over tax rates or pay or benefit levels.
“We believe in a universal value and therefore we want to practise it not just locally but at every stage in which we have a part to play.”
And he insisted he was “not satisfied” with what had been achieved so far. “I’m probably more determined than ever to achieve social justice in this country and beyond,” he said.