Carmakers warn immigration cap could affect trade


Teams of engineers transferred normally for introducing a new version
28th October 2010:  Japan’s biggest carmakers have warned immigration minister that cap can result into serious consequences for the industry.
Executives from three of Japan’s biggest manufacturers have cautioned the government that plans to restrict the number of immigrant workers coming to Britain could affect the car trade.

Toyota, Nissan and Honda have stated that the limit could prevent key development engineers coming to UK to set up manufacturing of new models

Senior bosses from Honda, Toyota and Nissan, which employ more than 10,000 people in Britain, delivered the warning to Damian Green, the immigration minister.

Changes to the immigration rules are expected to be introduced next year imposing rationing on the number of non-European Union workers. The rules are expected to particularly be damaging to Britain’s car industry, which is now almost entirely in the hands of non-European owners.

The companies have further claimed that imposing quotas would make it harder for carmakers to launch new models in the UK.

 Carmakers normally transfer small teams of engineers from their research and development bases overseas to Britain for a brief period of time to help on new car launches. This is done particularly if they use new technologies or require new skills to manufacture.

Toyota, for example, used engineers recruited from its base in Japan to help the workforce at its Burnaston plant in Derbyshire to begin manufacturing of the Auris hybrid car this summer, which is powered by two electric motors as well as a conventional petrol engine.

 Other UK-based car manufacturers such as Jaguar Land Rover, owned by India’s Tata Motors, could also be hit by the new immigration rules.

In a speech to the annual CBI conference on Monday, David Cameron had stated that he did not want the new system to hurt British business. The government has hinted that small changes could be made to the policy, without making any commitment.

The Home Office in a statement stated this government believed that Britain could benefit from migration but not uncontrolled migration. The statement added that that Britain was always open for business and would continue to attract and retain the brightest and the best people who could make a real difference to their economic growth. But the government was not in favour of unlimited migration and unacceptable pressure on public services.

The Home Office added that besides the limits, there would be action to get people back to work and provide business with the skills they need from the British workforce — reducing the need for migrants at the same time.

The Home Office asserted that their aim was to reduce the level of net migration back down to the levels of the 1990s – tens of thousands each year, not hundreds of thousands. Introducing a limit on migrants from outside Europe coming here to work was just one of the ways they adopted.


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