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Government decision impacts foreign workers

UK - A result of the government's decision to control Romanian and Bulgarian access to the UK labour market is that from 2008, all post offered under the Seasonal Agricultural Workers Scheme (SAWS) must be filled by nationals from Bulgaria and Romania, says the NFU.

Following pressure from the NFU, SAWS operators and the fifty club, the HO has agreed to a concession that SAWS permits for 2007 must be filled by 40% of nationals from Romania and Bulgaria.

The requirement for the SAWS to be made up of Romania and Bulgaria nationals only, is due to the principle of community preference.

The HO interpretation of this, is that, following the limitation of access of Bulgarian and Romanian nationals to the UK labour market, community preference requires that all EU based jobs, must be available, preferentially to EU nationals.

The NFU has said that it will be examining this interpretaiton with SAWS operators.

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