Papieren bitte? A border patrolman inspects a passport

Immigration cap turning into a major headache for the government

The Migration Advisory Committee (MAC) has today published the findings of its report to the government on the recommended level for the proposed cap on skilled immigration from outside the European Union. The report demonstrates the scale of the task which the Government has set itself by committing to reduce net immigration to the tens of thousands from the current level of almost 200,000.

Exasperated: Small business owners are angry at the government

More immigration cap anger from small businesses

Fast-growing small businesses are the latest group to speak out against the immigration cap, saying the restrictions on hiring non-EU migrants are forcing them to turn away work because they are unable to hire the right people. The news follows twin criticisms of the cap last week from the prime minister’s election speechwriter and the House of Commons Home Affairs Committee.

More government confusion over impact of immigration cap

There is further uncertainty over how the government will achieve its stated goal of reducing net immigration to the “tens of thousands” – an aim reiterated by David Cameron in a speech on new technology in east London this afternoon. Yesterday, the prime minister said intra-company transfers would be exempted from the immigration cap – an area over which immigration minister Damian Green came unstuck on Newsnight last night.