The UK has seen a spate of demonstrations over fears too many foreigners are moving in. ‘British jobs for British workers’ is a familiar slogan.
With frustrations feeding support for the far-right, Prime Minister Gordon Brown has addressed public concerns, pledging to tighten rules on immigration. “Immigration is not an issue for fringe parties nor a taboo subject,” Brown said in a speech in west London. “It is a question to be dealt with at the heart of our politics, a question about what it means to be British; about the values we hold dear and the responsibilities we expect of those coming into our country; about how we secure the skills we need to compete in the global economy.” Britain has recruited thousands of doctors and other health professionals to fill shortages in the system. However concerns over some workers’ competence and English language skills have been voiced. Brown insists immigration is an economic, social and cultural strength for Britain. But today, among measures to toughen the rules, he pledged to cut the number of professions which can recruit from outside Europe.