More than 100 business leaders have signed an open letter to UK home secretary Amber Rudd criticising a proposal to force companies to disclose lists of foreign-born employees to the government.
The letter calls the proposed policy “anti-worker, anti-business and dangerously naïve.”
“Foreign workers are not taking British jobs, they are helping to create them. They should be celebrated, not demonised,” it reads.
Its signatories include Lord Bilimoria, the chair of Cobra Beer and Elizabeth Varley, founder and chief executive of TechHub.
The letter also includes a pledge of non-compliance with the law, should it be introduced.
Other signatories include senior figures from firms including Grub Club, Red or Dead, Deighton Pierce Glynn, and Roller Agency.
The letter was organised by SumOfUs, a consumer group with more than a million members in the UK. The group has also organised a petition that has so far collected over 50,000 signatures.
The Tories have already rowed back on the policy — following widespread outrage from business leaders and politicians, Rudd’s colleague Justine Greening said that that any lists would not be made public.
She insisted: “This is not data that will be published. This is about informing policy so that we understand particularly which areas and parts of the country there are skills shortages evidenced by the fact employers are not taking local workers as much as they might do.”
The policy in its original form enjoyed widespread favour from the general public: two voters support the idea for every one that opposes it.