All this could have easily been avoided if the authorities had done their homework. I sincerely hope that the introduction process goes smoothly but if it doesn't we know who to blame. Months have been wasted and widespread confusion created and all because no-one could be bothered to tackle the problem head-on.
It is not surprising that the Confederation of British Industry took a more confrontational approach to its relations with the Government at its weekend conference. Manufacturing industry's long-standing difficulty with the strong pound has been compounded by the serious down-turn in the global economy and many other sectors see trouble ahead.
Digby Jones, the CBI's Director-General, said that since the election the unions have got their tails up; I am looking for more action from the Government to show that the unions are not getting it all their own way. The Government are going to have to decide. Are they going to play with the unions? Or are they going to go with wealth creation in Britain? Rhetoric of this kind is a long way from the kind of business-friendly partnership that was struck up between Labour and industry before and after the 1997 election. Unions are likely to be amused, if they are not angry, about Mr Jones's assertions. Trade union rights are nowhere near as broadly and generously established in Britain as they are in the rest of the European Union.
A recent example was the UK-style peremptory dismissal of hundreds of Marks & Spencer employees in France and Spain; these were successfully challenged under EU labour laws which required M&S to make an effort to sell their stores to companies which would employ the existing staff. Last week it was announced that Galeries Lafayette, in France, and Corte Ingles in Spain had bought the M&S businesses and would operate them with the staff already in place.