The problem is low-skilled immigrants from central Europe and illegals from everywhere but the government has no control over arrivals of the former (unless it leaves the EU) and a proven inability to do much about the latter. So the only way they can effectively cut immigration is to bar skilled migrants from the rest of the world — which will at least do no good and probably will do harm
There is one very effective step they could take but they are probably too centrist to do it: Deny welfare benefits to immigrants until they have made ten years of National Insurance contributions
The Government has got its policy on immigration caps wrong and should drop it in favour of a points-based system, according to the head of the business group, London First, and leading international companies.
With just days left until submissions to the Government consultation on immigration controls are due, businesses are warning caps on skilled labour could threaten the recovery and drive business abroad.
London First claims that the coalition’s plans to cap non-EU immigration will affect only 55,000 of the 567,000 migrants who came to the UK, based on last year’s figures. Those migrants are what is known as Tier 1 and Tier 2 migrants – highly skilled and skilled workers who are in many cases key employees.
“I do not think the public had these people in mind when they voted for this Government’s plan to cap immigration,” Baroness Valentine, chief executive of London First, said.
The deadline for submissions to the Migration Advisory Committee is Tuesday. London First and its members are calling for the cap on Tier 2 migrants, skilled workers, to be lifted. The group is particularly keen on inter-company immigration – where workers move between different national offices – to be uncapped.
The temporary cap on immigration, introduced earlier this summer, is due to end in April next year when permanent limits could be put in place.
The Government says it plans to reduce net immigration from the current 500,000 per year to “tens of thousands”. But London First questions how this is possible by targeting the 50,000 Tier 1 and 2 migrants that arrive each year.