After verdict, temporary limit “reckless and chaotic”: ED Balls

`The much heralded cap, deeply unpopular, cap does not exist’

22nd December 2010:
Even as Immigration Minister Damian Green is insisting the High Court verdict will not affect the annual cap, shadow home secretary Ed Balls says introduction of a temporary immigration cap now is apparently "reckless and chaotic". He is insisting the ruling means the cap does not, in fact, exist.


Quoting the contents of the judgment, Balls says the home secretary tried to "sidestep" Parliamentary scrutiny and her actions are in fact "illegal".

He adds as fallout of the High Court judgment, the government’s much heralded cap, deeply unpopular with business, does not in fact today exist.

Balls is also expressing concern on what will happen to applicants wanting to come to the UK, but rejected under the illegal cap.

Balls is also asking him to publish all the legal advice on which their decision to proceed was based, to dispel the impression that he and the home secretary have acted in a reckless and chaotic manner and to show the home secretary in fact has nothing to hide.

Green only recently claimed the policy of having a limit has not been found to be unlawful. He made it clear that the government would still go ahead with the move to reduce net migration to the tens of thousands.

Green claimed: ‘The court’s ruling rests on a technicality. We will set this right in the next few days to ensure we can continue to operate an interim limit’.

Green further claimed: `This ruling is about process, not policy – the policy of having a limit has not been found to be unlawful’.

He added: `The judgment will have no impact on the permanent limit on non-European workers the government will introduce next April.

‘We remain firmly committed to reducing net migration to the tens of thousands, and will continue to do everything in our power to prevent a rush of applications before our more permanent measures are in place.’

The High Court verdict is being seen as a blow to home secretary Theresa May’s plans to cap immigration.

Two senior judges have held the temporary limit imposed from 28 June on skilled migrants from outside the European Union is unlawful. Giving reasons, the Judges have held the ministers sidestepped proper parliamentary approval when it was introduced.

Lord Justice Sullivan and Justice Burton concluded that the British home minister May had taken the steps without the approval of parliament.

"The secretary of state made no secret of her intentions," the judges said.

“There can be no doubt that she was attempting to side-step provisions for parliamentary scrutiny set up under provisions of the 1971 Immigration Act and her attempt was for that reason unlawful.”

The ruling by Lord Justice Sullivan and Justice Burton at the High Court in London came on a petition by the Joint Council for the Welfare of Immigrants (JCWI) and by the English Community Care Association.

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