UK UK Immigration Unacceptably High Must Be Cut - Cameron

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Jan 7, 2005
Metro-Vancouver, B.C., Canada
UK immigration 'unacceptably high,' must be cut: Cameron

Reuters - November 21, 2010

LONDON, Nov 21 (Reuters) - Immigration to Britain is "unacceptably high" and must be brought down, but this can be done while ensuring businesses can import talent, Prime Minister David Cameron said in remarks aired on Sunday.

He spoke a few days after the state Migration Advisory Committee, charged with setting limits for skilled migrants, said the number of skilled workers from outside the European Union allowed into Britain should be cut by up to a quarter.

"Over recent years we’ve had net immigration into the UK of about 200,000, that is two million extra people every 10 years," Cameron told Sky News in an interview shown on Sunday.

"That is unacceptably high and has got to be brought down, and I’m quite convinced that it’s possible to bring it down while making sure that business can access talent," he added.

Businesses are concerned that the plans could harm British competitiveness, and Business Secretary Vince Cable has tried to reassure firms that new immigration curbs planned by the government will be flexible.

Cameron said he wanted net immigration to Britain to be in the tens of thousands, rather than hundreds of thousands, adding that popular support for tackling immigration was one of the reasons his right-leaning Conservative party was elected.

Some among the Liberal Democrats, the junior partner in the coalition government, are uncomfortable with the proposed cap.

A permanent cap on migrants from outside the European Union will be set in April next year, and in the meantime the government has introduced interim measures to avoid a rush of last-minute visa applications while old rules still apply.

Some 196,000 more people migrated to Britain than left the country in 2009, according to official statistics.

© Copyright (c) AFP


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