London, Nov 7 (UNI) Indian origin MP, Keith Vaz said Gordon Brown's slogan ''British jobs for British workers'' amounts to ''employment apartheid.'' Mr Vaz, chairman of the Home Affairs Select Committee, said that Britain's treaty obligations meant the pledge could not be met and that it was ''a false attempt to answer the right-wing propaganda.'' Mr Vaz, a former Europe Minister, set out his criticisms during a Commons debate on immigration policy.
''I worry about this statement,'' he said as it lacks credible arguments and some have suggested that it appears to amount to little more than employment apartheid.
''It assumes that foreign workers are somehow stealing jobs from UK workers, an idea for which there is absolutely no evidence,'' added the Indian origin MP.
''It also raises the question how do you ensure jobs are going to British people and what do you classify as British?'' pointed Mr Vaz.
Mr Vaz continued ''hopes are falsely raised whenever 'British jobs' are mentioned. Every position that is filled will require justification and an account kept of how many British jobs there are.
The fact is, this country has, over the last century, entered many agreements with European and Commonwealth countries, which means that it is obligated, and rightly so, to give jobs to people that are not British, based on merit, mentioned Mr Vaz.
Mr Vaz said that he was horrified at the "rise in racist comments about eastern Europeans", adding: "I am concerned that ideas such as 'British jobs for British people' may only serve to worsen this situation.
Earlier, during the debate on the Queen's Speech, Mr Brown came under fierce attack from David Cameron over the slogan. The Conservative leader said that the Prime Minister knew the promise to be illegal under European Union law.
The Conservatives later circulated two examples from far right British Natonal Party(BNP) campaign literature, one from as recently as last year, which used the slogan prominently.
Mr Brown referred to British jobs for British workers in his speech to the Labour conference in Bournemouth in September.