The British government has been on the receiving end of fierce criticism lately. A proposal that the government put forward isn’t going down well. The stakeholders in the issue feel that it is a wrong turn to take. The new measure is a populist one and it could satisfy a certain part of the general public. But it would also be damaging to the business of companies in Britain.
The proposal for the new measure says that companies have to publish how much of their workforce is comprised of foreign workers. Under the new measure, companies would be forced to make public that information.
Vocal Opposition to the Proposed Measure
Amber Rudd, the Home Secretary of the British government, unveiled the measure this Tuesday. It is part of new efforts from the government to cut down immigration. Also, as the government sees it, the measure would encourage British companies to hire local people.
Political opponents slammed the proposed measure. Important figures in the world of business also criticized it. The complaints were about the undertones of the measure and what it is, in a way, implying. Also, the measure was called “anti-business” by people who would be directly affected by the measure.
The mayor of London, a city with a significant immigrant population, spoke out against the measure. In a Twitter message, he said that the measure “sends a deeply worrying message to the millions of people from around the world living and contributing in our country”.
Nicola Sturgeon, Scotland’s first minister, also opposes the measure. Referring to Wednesday’s newspaper headlines about the measure she called the situation “depressing”. She also commented that the government proposing this measure is more like something that a UKIP government would do.
Adam Marshall is the acting director general of the British Chambers of Commerce. Speaking to the media, he said that a measure to force companies to list foreign workers would be disappointing for the world of business. The measure somehow implies that if a company has a global workforce, that’s a sort of “badge of shame”. That would be detrimental to good business practices.
Government Trying to Curb Immigration
This strong reaction comes after Amber Rudd’s speech at the Conservative Party conference. The annual conference took place in Birmingham at the beginning of the week. Amber Rudd is part of the Conservative cabinet currently governing Britain. During her speech she said that the country’s decision to leave the EU was fueled by high levels of immigration.
The government wants to see net migration going down. Net migration is calculated by subtracting the number of people leaving the country form the number of people arriving. Last year, net migration was 330,000. Half of those people were coming from other EU countries.
Theresa May, the British Prime Minister recently announced that Britain is going to start the process of exiting the European Union by March of next year. Even so, the process could take up to two years. Until then, there is little that Britain can do to limit immigration from the EU.
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