Bri­tain back­tracks on list­ing of for­eign work­ers

The Myanmar Times - - World -

THE Bri­tish gov­ern­ment has stepped back from a plan to make em­ploy­ers list their for­eign work­ers as it talks tough on im­mi­gra­tion fol­low­ing the Brexit vote, after a back­lash among busi­ness lead­ers.

“We are not go­ing to be ask­ing com­pa­nies to list or name or pub­lish or iden­tify their for­eign work­ers,” De­fence Sec­re­tary Michael Fallon told BBC Ra­dio, say­ing the pro­posal had been “mis­in­ter­preted”.

The idea of mak­ing em­ploy­ers pub­lish a record of how many nonBri­tish ci­ti­zens they hire was floated at the rul­ing Con­ser­va­tive party’s an­nual con­fer­ence.

But it was swiftly and widely con­demned as di­vi­sive and dis­crim­i­na­tory, and the Bri­tish Cham­bers of Com­merce warned against mak­ing a global work­force a “badge of shame”.

Ed­u­ca­tion Sec­re­tary Jus­tine Green­ing said the pro­posal was about “in­form­ing pol­icy so that we un­der­stand which ar­eas and parts of the coun­try there are skills short­ages”.

“This is not data that will be pub­lished. There will be ab­so­lutely no nam­ing and sham­ing,” she said.

The EU ref­er­en­dum cam­paign was dom­i­nated by the is­sue of im­mi­gra­tion and Prime Min­is­ter Theresa May has said that im­pos­ing con­trols on new ar­rivals will be a pri­or­ity in ne­go­ti­a­tions over Brexit.

But EU lead­ers have also made clear that this will not be pos­si­ble if Bri­tain wants con­tin­ued ac­cess to the Eu­ro­pean sin­gle mar­ket.

Law­mak­ers con­cerned about Ms May’s strat­egy have be­gun mo­bil­is­ing in a bid to force her to give par­lia­ment a vote on her open­ing po­si­tion be­fore for­mal exit talks be­gin with Brus­sels early next year.

The Con­ser­va­tives only have a slim ma­jor­ity in par­lia­ment and some pro-Eu­ro­pean MPs in the party are re­port­edly in talks with for­mer Labour leader Ed Miliband over an al­liance that could de­feat the gov­ern­ment.

“The PM must get par­lia­men­tary con­sent for her Brexit ne­go­ti­at­ing po­si­tion. No ref­er­en­dum man­date for a hard Brexit,” Mr Miliband said in a Twit­ter mes­sage. –

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