Bulgarian and Romanian seasonal workers in the UK may be good at picking strawberries even though they can’t use mobile phones, a UK Tory lawmaker has said.
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“It’s a skilled job: you wake up, you pick strawberries, you can’t squash them. They may not be able to use mobile phones but it’s picking strawberries; our Brits won’t do it,” BuzzFeed quotes Owen Paterson as saying at a party conference.
Paterson has told the audience about his experience with a scheme recruiting seasonal agricultural workers that allowed Bulgarians and Romanians to get proper accommodation and catering for a limited amount of time.
By the time the scheme was closed in January 2014, some 22 000 eastern Europeans were employed, according to data published by the BBC.
With Brexit looming, some businesses have voiced concerns over the future of the agricultural sector if foreign workers could not be employed by the UK.
Much of the pro-Brexit campaign before the June 23 referendum was based on the notion that Britain would restrict the movement of member states’ nationals into its territory if it left the EU.
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