How does foreign labour help the UK?
Wednesday, 04 February 2009 10:02

There is a lot of talk about protectionism and letting foreign workers work in the UK. Gordon Brown keeps banging on about it. So exactly how do foreign workers benefit the UK?

Thinking about the current dispute at the Total plant in Lincolnshire

  • Italian and Portuguese workers will do the work
  • Their earnings will be paid in Italy or Portugal
  • They will have families in those contries

What are the benefits?

  • The work will get done
  • They will spend money on travel and subsustence, some of which will circulate in the UK

What are the problems?

  • Their income will be paid in foreign countries
  • Their employer is foreign, so profits will be made abroad
  • Taxes will be paid abroad
  • Money will be sucked out of the UK
  • British workers will be unemployed
  • The UK will have to pay benefits to these unemployed
  • UK businesses will loose the income they would have had from the spending of the workers


It's hard to see any benefit to the UK. There are doubtless British workers doing similar things abroad and sending money back here, but if the overall facts were known it's most likely that the UK is losing millions of pounds a day in too many ways. The UK has a duty to look after its own, not to make life easy for foreigners.

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