David Blackburn

Another coalition compromise, this time on immigration

Another coalition compromise, this time on immigration
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Agreement has been reached on the troublesome immigration cap. The BBC reports that skilled non-EU migration will be limited to 43,000. This is just a 13 percent reduction from this year’s cap and there are numerous exemptions to be made; notably, inter-company transfers will not be included when workers earn more than £40,000 per annum.

This is a considerable moment for the coalition because the cap was thought unworkable. The Conservatives have their cap, a pep pill for the embattled Home Secretary.  But this is also a victory for Vince, who is being feted by businessmen across the airwaves this morning. Cable and May have also been praised by Migration Watch’s Andrew Green for formulating policy to tackle Britain’s net migration.

Final agreement has not been reached on the future of non-EU migrant students, though apparently Theresa May is adamant that bogus colleges that sell immigration not education - to perhaps as many as 130,000 people - will be closed. The government is determined to encourage foreigners to apply for degree-level courses, which will benefit our economy and foreign relations with China and India. A counter argument from the extremes is to recall that Umar Farouk Abdulmuttalab, the Christmas Day bomber, ‘disappeared’ while attending a degree course at UCL. By all means close the nefarious ‘finishing schools’ that litter Britain’s attics and back streets, but immigration and higher education authorities must do more to keep track of students at legitimate institutions.