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Protectionism at the highest level

In a rather bizarre twist of fate the Gordon Brown quote of "British jobs from British workers" has come back to haunt the Prime Minister in more ways than one. While he has often suggested that protectionism is not the way forward, a number of reporters have been commenting on the fact that the Prime Minister of the UK can only be British (or Irish) with no "foreigners" allowed to take up the position. While this very much tongue-in-cheek comment has attracted the attention of many newspapers and media outlets it does reflect the growing concern about the protection of the UK workforce.

Even though the Lindsey oil refinery strike has ended there are serious concerns that it would not take much to see wildcat strikes sweeping across the UK yet again. The short-term fix, which involved just over 100 British workers being taken on by the foreign companies in question at the Lindsey oil refinery, may have stopped the rot but longer term there are still concerns. Many media outlets are currently scouring the UK attempting to put together figures relating to overseas workers operating in the country and "taking jobs from British workers".

The whole saga has blown wide open the government's claim to be on the side of UK workers and finally it seems as though Tony Blair's decision to sign up to the full EU treaty may be about to backfire upon Gordon Brown.

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