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Here we go again, British jobs for British workers!

As we approach the next general election (a coincidence?) Alan Johnson, the Home Secretary, will today announce plans for "British jobs for British workers". This is a rehash of Gordon Brown's claim from two years ago which sensationally backfired and led to significant friction within the Labour Party and the UK employment market. So is this particular strategy plausible?

In reality very few changes will be made with regards to the UK employment market and foreign workers. Currently UK employers need to advertise locally within the UK for two weeks before they can advertise overseas, this will be extended to one month. There is also the period after which a skilled foreign worker can join the UK employment market, which will be extended from six months to one year. So will this make a difference?

The truth is, that due to EU regulations and the freedom of movement within Europe, there is no way that the UK government can restrict the number of foreign workers (EU-based) from descending upon the UK. While these two particular measures which will be announced today will delay the inevitable they are to all intents and purposes "window dressing".

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