Politics: Job losses warning to SNP

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UP TO 250,000 jobs could be at risk if Scotland opted for independence, the Chancellor, Gordon Brown, warned yesterday as he launched a renewed Labour campaign against Scottish National Party "separatism".

Mr Brown told the Institute of Directors' conference at Gleneagles, Perthshire, that Scotland simply could not afford the job losses and constitutional chaos inherent in SNP policies. "Just about all Scotland's top 50 companies have a bigger market in England than in Scotland, and Scotland would suffer if the connection with Britain was broken," he said.

The SNP said the attack was "unnecessarily vicious". The MP for Moray, Margaret Ewing, who was at the IoD conference, said Labour was clearly scared at the surge in support for the SNP. The two parties are almost level pegging in opinion polls.