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International Relations

New Approach to Immigration in U.K

  • 11 Aug 2018
  • 2 min read

Confederation of British Industry has published a report ‘Open and Controlled – A New Approach to Migration’ calling for a “new approach” towards UK’s immigration policies.

  • The report has suggested that the government should scrap net migration targets after Brexit and continue to allow visa-free entry into the UK by EU citizens.
  • According to the report, UK’s immigration policy needs to shift away from attempting to reduce numbers and should instead be focused on ensuring that people coming to the UK make a positive contribution to the economy.
  • From agriculture to technology, the report outlines why overseas workers matter for various sectors across the UK economy.
  • It also suggested that trade deals with countries such as India and Australia would be easier to forge if Britain reviewed its approach to visas, and brought migration policy to the trade discussion table.
  • The existing visa restrictions inhibit trade and foreign direct investment.
  • The report has recommended reforming the Tier 2 visa route (the main work route for those coming to the U.K., including from India) to ensure that employers could access the range of skills that they need and scrapping the annual number of Tier 2 visas issued.
    • The government recently took doctors and nurses out of the annual limit, but with EU workers leaving the U.K. in larger numbers, the demand for Tier 2 visas has risen, leaving businesses unable to hire the talent they needed.

India’s Stand

  • India has repeatedly raised concerns about Britain’s unwillingness to ease visa restrictions for professionals, students and others.
  • In particular, Britain’s decision to exclude India from a relaxation of visa norms for students provoked criticism from India, raising bilateral tensions.
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