It’s official: the immigration clampdown is hurting British business

Pandering to anti-migrant sentiment is hurting the British economy.

Pandering to anti-migrant sentiment is hurting the British economy

In seeking to see off the threat from UKIP, David Cameron’s government has put a great deal of stock in appearing ‘tough’ on immigration.

Back in 2010 Cameron argued that it was “perfectly possible” to halve net migration without damaging companies or the economy.

Four years on and the results of this assumption are starting to come in; and it doesn’t bode well for the coalition.

According to a new study carried out by the University of Oxford’s Migration Observatory for the Financial Times, the number of highly skilled migrants from outside Europe fell by more than a third since between 2011 and 2013.

There were 28,000 fewer highly skilled migrants in the UK last year compared to 2011, a drop of just over 10 per cent.

As the FT (£) reports:

“While researchers stop short of blaming policy changes for the decline in skilled specialists from Asia, Africa and the Americas, the findings are clear: the reduction in non-EU hires between 2011 and 2013 has been mirrored by a corresponding 53 per cent rise in highly skilled migrants from older EU countries such as France and Germany.”

Particularly telling is a comment in the FT’s by the director general of the CBI John Cridland:

“I certainly pick up in international markets that there’s now a perception that the UK isn’t as open to highly skilled migrants and investors and entrepreneurs.”

In April 2011 the government abolished Labour’s ‘highly skilled’ visa route and introduced an annual cap on the number of skilled workers allowed into the UK. They also put an end to the post-study work visa, which had previously allowed overseas graduates to stay in Britain to look for work for two years after finishing their studies.

Responding to the findings, the business secretary Vince Cable told the FT that the net migration target was “not government policy”. He added that it “clearly had a damaging impact on UK plc by reducing the talent pool available to companies based here”.

Despite previously insisting that Britain is ‘still open for business’, it appears that pandering to anti-migrant sentiment is directly hurting the British economy.

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38 Responses to “It’s official: the immigration clampdown is hurting British business”

  1. Patonback

    What a load of old tosh. We are in the middle of a population explosion fuelled by excessive immigration, yet all these analysts want to do is import more and more people. Ever heard of skills training?. Do it. By the time we have a vote on the EU, at the present rate , we will have another one million people here plus a surge in births. Absolute madness. The freedom of movement EU rules mean right now, that we cannot pick and choose who comes here. Until that changes, we get all sorts.

  2. TruthBeatsLies

    But White Europeans are hardly any problem at all. Most of them don’t even like the UK. They only come here to work hard (which most of them do!) perfect their English (which most of them do) and earn enough money to head back home or go to America – or both…! Which most of them do…!!!

    What I want to know is WHY can’t we stop the influx of 3Rd-Worlders…? Especially from Africa and the Indian Sub-Continent… most of whom send birth-rates up through the roof, seldom even bother to learn English and have absolutely no intention whatsoever of EVER going home…!!!

  3. Kay

    Umm. Disappointed to see that no evidence is put forward to back up the claim that British business is hurting. Even Vince Cable trots out an unsubstantiated non-sequitur that it “clearly had a damaging impact on UK plc by reducing the talent pool etc” It’s not clear at all, Vince – and try telling that to the people graduating from University or leaving college this year.

    I’d like to see the Left change the record on the economic benefits of immigration and engage with the immigration-sceptics arguments, meaningfully. For instance, I haven’t found a single person convinced by arguments such as: “If we could only get a few hundred thousand skilled workers in each year, our economy would grow by 0.5%, in London, Oxford and Cambridge, if we’re lucky!”

    So James, don’t disappoint me. Which businesses are hurting? How? Where are the vacancies? Where are our Universities and colleges falling down? What skills need shoring up?

  4. swatnan

    Its true that Society is change; just look at the streetscene and the diversity on it. To deny that change is to be a flat earther and climate change denier. To deny that change and not embrace it is to be a left behinder

  5. consciousness

    If ALL and ONLY Black countries in 1955 let hundreds of millions of non-Blacks into their countries and encouraged the non-Blacks to assimilate. Then 90 years later, Blacks are expected to be minorities in those countries; that’s not done by accident. It’s obviously a plan to wipe out the Black race. AKA genocide.
    This has been done to my people, White people. It’s GENOCIDE!

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