James Forsyth

Immigration cap to be announced on Monday

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The Mail reports that the government will announce a cap on non-EU immigration to Britain on Monday. It also refers to objections from within the Coalition to the policy. But as the paper notes these came from Tories, not Lib Dems.

My understanding is that in the Cabinet Committee meeting where the issue was discussed, David Willetts gently raised concerns about the idea and the effect it could have on the global competitiveness of British universities. Michael Gove then echoed these objections more forcefully; saying—I’m told—that he was ideologically opposed to the measure.

Nick Clegg, who was chairing, and who opposes the policy was placed in a very odd position: he had Tory Cabinet ministers appealing to him the Lib Dem chair of a Cabinet Committee against a Tory policy.

Clegg said that he agreed with Gove and Willetts but that the policy had to be pushed through because it was in the Coalition agreement and it is his job to make sure that the Coalition agreement is implemented.


Written byJames Forsyth

James Forsyth is Political Editor of the Spectator. He is also a columnist in The Sun.

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