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Are EU directives impacting upon UK unemployment levels?

As the protest by a number of UK workers against foreign labour being shipped into the UK for major engineering and construction projects hits the headlines today there are suggestions that the various EU directives on employment are impacting negatively on the UK rate of unemployment. In essence the EU regulations allow the free flow of workers from EU member countries to other EU countries. They are then eligible for employment, benefits and any other governmental assistance afforded to the local population.

The fact that cheap Italian labour was recently shipped into a major oil refinery in the UK appears to have sparked something of a heated debate within union and governmental circles. The unions are demanding an urgent meeting with the UK government amid suggestions they will ask for various regulations to protect the employment prospects of the UK workforce. Whether the UK government will be allowed to take such steps, bearing in mind the various EU directives, remains to be seen but this situation looks likely to test Gordon Brown's government.

When you consider that many of the UK work-force who may suffer are traditional Labour voters this could have a serious impact upon voting intentions for the next election. Gordon Brown's quote of "British jobs for British workers" looks set to come back and haunt him.

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