30 March 2010

UK immigration cap called unworkable by policy think tank

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The Conservative party's plans to cut net UK immigration by imposing an annual cap have been called "unworkable" by a public policy research institute.

The report, The Limit to Limits, from the Institute of Public Policy Research (IPPR) says that imposing an annual cap would require drastic changes to policy including putting severe limits on the number of highly skilled immigrants from outside the EU and on overseas students.

The report states that these moves to cut UK immigration would directly impact on big business and higher education.

"Would the government be happy to tell KPMG that it could not bring over an analyst from its New York office? Or to tell Arsenal that it could not sign a promising young player from Côte d'Ivoire?", the report asked.

The Conservative party leader David Cameron said  he would like to see immigration capped at the "tens of thousands", but the IPPR paper says that the government has little control over large parts of net UK immigration, such as workers moving to the UK  from the EU, asylum seekers and Britons returning home.

Already, the government has already stopped all unskilled workers coming in from outside the EU with a UK Visa , apart from those in industries suffering shortages.

Prime Minister Gordon Brown addressed the issue of immigration during his weekly podcast last week saying the new UK immigration points system was radically changing the way immigration from outside the UK is administered.

“The essence of it is to refuse entry to people who cannot contribute to the economy in the way we need – and to clearly delineate those skills that we cannot immediately generate in our own country," he said. 

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