On Sunday, the British government delayed a project that would ask businesses to list their foreign workers. It was presented to the Conservative party congress in the middle of the week, to anger and indignation.
“We will not ask businesses to list or publicly name or identify their foreign workers”, defence Minister Michael Fallon told BBC Radio on Sunday. He added the project had been “misinterpreted”.
The plan, designed to push businesses into focusing on national labour, was presented to the annual congress in Birmingham on Wednesday. It was presented by Home Affairs Minister Amber Rudd, and was severely criticised immediately.
The head of the Labour party Jeremy Corbyn said the Conservative Party had “hit a new low and fanned the fires of xenophobia”.
“Theresa May’s vision of post-Brexit United Kingdom is repulsive”, said Scottish First Minister Nicola Sturgeon.
Adam Marshall, the director of the British Chamber of Commerce, said “many businesses will be sad to learn that their foreign work force is considered shameful”.
“How long before I have to sew on a star”, Spanish dancer Tamara Rojo said on Twitter. She is the artistic director of the English National Ballet.
On Sunday, Education Minister Justine Greening defended the project by explaining that the idea was to “inform politicians and understand which sectors and areas of the country are suffering from lack of professionals”. “This is not the data that will be published. People will not be named or humiliated”, she said on ITV.
By toughening up on immigration, this week Prime Minister Theresa May gave the impression that she is meaning towards a “hard Brexit”. This would mean no concessions to Brussels and no access to the Single European Market.
Pro-European MPs from different political backgrounds are opposed to this radical version of Brexit. They want to force Theresa May to accept a Parliament vote on her negotiation project before it starts, according to the Sunday paper The Observer.
Maria Novak (Source: Belga)