Only in Britain is it thought racist to put locals first, says Ross Clark

WHILE debating for the Remain campaign back in June Amber Rudd was quick to score cheap points on her Conservative colleagues in the Leave camp, accusing them of scaremongering over migration.

This week it was the turn of Ms Rudd herself to be on the receiving end of charges of racism and xenophobia for daring to suggest that it would be a good idea for British firms to train up local workers rather than hurrying to recruit them from overseas.

Now she knows what awaits anyone in Britain who dips their toes into the subject of migration – a knee-jerk denunciation from people throwing around the charges of racism and xenophobia.

It was a lesson that Gordon Brown also learned. He was happy to denounce as a “bigot” Gillian Duffy, the Rochdale pensioner who dared to raise the subject of migration with him during the 2010 election campaign.

Firms are quite right to employ specialists from abroad

Ross Clark

But he was jumped upon when he said: “British jobs for British workers.”

Only in Britain could you find yourself attacked for suggesting that it would be rather a good idea if a sofa firm – the example quoted by Amber Rudd – looked to train local people rather than taking the quicker option of foreign workers who are already trained for a particular task.

In any other country it would be taken for granted that businesses have a responsibility to employ local people.