Ed Balls warns SNP plans a second referendum

ED Balls has said that a large bloc of SNP MPs would “spend every day working for another referendum”, as the shadow chancellor issued a last-ditch plea to Scots to “think hard” about how they cast their votes in next week’s election. .

Ed Balls: Second referendum warning. Picture: John Devlin

Mr Balls said that the SNP would “crave the polarisation” of a fresh referendum, during a speech in Glasgow yesterday, as the General Election campaign entered its final 10 days.

The shadow chancellor appeared alongside Scottish Labour leader Jim Murphy, who warned that sweeping gains for the SNP would lead to a “turbo charge” for a second referendum from Nationalist MPs at Westminster.

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Mr Balls said: “I’m saying to all those undecided voters, think hard, it is so important what you are going to do. A vote for the SNP is a vote for plans which extend austerity and let the Tories back in.”

The shadow chancellor claimed that the SNP would agitate for a second referendum when their demand for full fiscal autonomy – the devolution of all tax and spending powers to Scotland – was rejected.

Mr Balls said: “SNP MPs aren’t going to the House of Commons to fight poverty, they are going to re-fight the referendum.

“SNP MPs will demand things they know we would never deliver, like an end to the Barnett Formula or an end to UK pensions. If Scotland elects Labour MPs they will spend every day working to make things better for working class people.

“We know that SNP MPs will spend every day working for another referendum on the grounds that full fiscal autonomy has not been delivered.”

SNP deputy leader Stewart Hosie, hitting back, said: “The uncomfortable truth for Ed Balls is that if there are more anti-Tory MPs than Tory MPs in the next House of Commons, then the only way David Cameron could return to Downing Street would be if Ed Miliband let him.”