Sir: I have just returned from a visit to a mining operation, small but with enormous potential, on a Mediterranean island under the aegis of the EU. Despite 30 per cent unemployment and the willingness of the local skilled workforce, a combination of EU restrictions and local laws forbids nationals to work one minute over 48 hours a week. I was therefore surprised to see bulldozers, excavators and dumper trucks going nineteen to the dozen on Saturday and Sunday. They were all manned by Australians.
A friend who runs a horticultural business in Yorkshire recently visited Holland. At seven o'clock one Friday evening, sales discussions between him and a Dutch manufacturer were interrupted by a banging on the factory door. It was the local police - demanding to know why the lights were on and to ascertain that all the workers had gone home.