28th Oct 2016

UK government backtracks on foreign workers lists

  • The Tory government wants to encourage companies to hire British workers

The UK government has announced a u-turn on a plan forcing firms to draw up lists of foreign workers.

"This is not going to happen," defence secretary Michael Fallon told BBC on Sunday (9 October).

He added that firms could be asked "simply to report their numbers".

The data would be used to assess the labour market and encourage companies to hire British workers.

"What I can absolutely rule out is that we will not be asking companies to list or publish or name or identify in any way the number of foreign workers they have," Fallon said.

The controversial idea was announced by home secretary Amber Rudd at the Conservative Party conference last Tuesday (5 October), and drew strong criticism.

Even the UKIP, which campaigned for Brexit with a hard line on immigration, said the plan went "too far".

UKIP MEP Roger Helmer said on Saturday that plans to “shame” companies who employ foreigners would be branded “fascist” had they been advocated by his party.

Steve Hilton, a former adviser to ex-prime minister David Cameron, writing in the Sunday Times condemned the policy as repugnant and divisive. He had suggested that ministers might as well announce that “foreign workers will be tattooed with numbers on their forearms”.

Diane Abbott, Labour’s shadow home secretary, said the Tories were in "disarray".

In the meantime, businesses continue to worry over the implications of Brexit.

A poll taken more than three months after the referendum said that 88 percent of finance officers feel their businesses are facing abnormally high levels of uncertainty. In the immediate wake of the 23 June vote, the figure was 92 percent, the Guardian wrote.

Column / Brexit Briefing

The City is right to be worried

By promising to prioritise migration control in Brexit talks, prime minister Theresa May has given a clear signal that she will prioritise provincial England over bankers.

May extends Brexit olive branch

The British PM is to launch new Brexit talks with Scotland, Northern Ireland, and Wales, as nerves fray, also among banks, at the prospect of a "hard" EU exit.

News in Brief

  1. Budget commissioner Georgieva takes up World Bank post
  2. Walloon parliament votes to accept Ceta
  3. Euro deficit to fall below 2% next year, commission says
  4. Migration and security top Germany's EU agenda
  5. EU finance rules need 'neutral' enforcer, Germany says
  6. Northern Ireland court rejects Brexit case
  7. EU tables Atlantic sea bass fishing ban
  8. EU states issue record number of residence permits

Stakeholders' Highlights

  1. Nordic Council of MinistersUN global sustainable development goals, integration, and security on agenda for Nordic Council Session 2016
  2. Taipei EU OfficeTaiwan Seeks to Join Fight against Global Warming
  3. ANCI LazioAnci Lazio Definetely has a lot to Celebrate This Year
  4. EU-China ForumDebating the Future of the EU-China Relations on 28 November in Prague
  5. COMECEMigrants: From Fear to Compassion
  6. Birdlife EuropeBusiness as Usual - Juncker Snubs Environment and Protects Broken CAP
  7. EFADraft Bill for a 2nd Scottish Independence Referendum
  8. UNICEFCalls on European Council to Address Plight of Refugee and Migrant Children
  9. ECTAJoin us on 9-10 November in Brussels and Discover the new EU Digital Landscape
  10. Access NowCan you Hear me now? Verizon’s Opportunity to Stand for Global Users
  11. Belgrade Security ForumMeaningful Dialogue Missing Not Only in the Balkans, but Throughout Europe
  12. EuropecheEU Fishing Sector Celebrates Sustainably Sourced Seafood in EU Parliament

Latest News

  1. Belgium green lights unchanged Ceta
  2. Poland rejects EU 'interferences' on rule of law
  3. On-road emissions tests: How EU failed to change to the fast lane
  4. Dutch PM asks opposition's help on Ukraine agreement
  5. Wallonia's heroic stand against Ceta is a stand for democracy
  6. Calais children abandoned at former camp site
  7. Greece to probe UN allegations of illegal returns
  8. Poland defies EU on rule of law