Anti-foreigner protests worry Vaz

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A senior MP from the ruling Labour party warned that renewed protests on Wednesday against foreign workers could set off a protectionist spiral and racism against Indian skilled workers in Britain.

"This is dangerous and misguided. I am particularly appalled to see workers' unions, who have such a strong anti-racist track record, share the podium with racist parties," Keith Vaz, Britain's senior Asian MP, said. 

"At the moment the protests are against European Union nationals working in Britain perfectly legally. My worry is that by focusing on jobs, and saying that these are foreign workers, people can try and stop the legal immigration of skilled workers from the sub-continent," Vaz said. 

His comments came as hundreds of British construction workers gathered at power stations in Nottinghamshire and on the Isle of Grain in Kent to complain against jobs going to Europeans. 

More than a week of wildcat strikes across 20 sites in Britain ended last week after the government proposed an improved offer on the use of foreign labour. 

Vaz, who is leading a parliamentary hearing on a new Points Based System designed to control the inflow of skilled migrants into Britain, said British unions risked setting off a protectionist spiral in the midst of a global economic downturn.  continues here

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