Foreign workers crackdown 'worse than Donald Trump's Muslim ban'

Steve Hilton says there is 'a darkness at the heart of Theresa May's government'

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Indy Politics

The Conservative plan to make firms list their foreign workers is worse than Donald Trump’s policy to ban Muslims from entering the US, one of David Cameron's closest advisers has said. 

Steve Hilton, the former No 10 policy guru who backed Brexit during the campaign, has condemned Home Secretary Amber Rudd’s proposal as “divisive, repugnant, and insanely bureaucratic”.

He said ministers may as well announce that “foreign workers will be tattooed with numbers on their forearms”.

Speaking at the Conservative party conference last week, Ms Rudd said foreign workers should not be able to “take the jobs that British people should do” and suggested measures which would effectively name and shame companies which did not employ enough UK workers. 

The MP was criticised by many for the proposal, including her own brother, but defended it saying “we should be able to have a conversation about what skills we want to have in the UK”.  

Writing in The Sunday Times, Mr Hilton said the plan would kill “britain’s reputation as an open, enterprise economy”.

He said: “Think how you felt when you heard Donald Trump suggest that Muslims should be banned from entering America. This is worse. 

“Trump was then a novice candidate, reacting on the fly to a shocking Islamist terror attack. 

“He has since replaced his ‘Muslim ban’ with a sensible policy of targeted ‘extreme vetting’

“But this flirtation with foreign worker-shaming was announced by an actual minister in an actual government, assisted by, we assume, actual civil servants.”

He also criticised the plan for “churning out new red tape” when the “whole point of Brexit” was to “sweep away the harmful impact of the European Union’s regulatory fervour”.

He warned that there “seems as if there’s a darkness at the heart of Theresa May’s government”.

The former Leave campaigner called for Britain to embrace global trade during the referendum campaign.

He said the EU made Britain “literally ungovernable” and was “anti-enterprise”, “anti-market” and “anti-trade”.