`We will set technicality right to ensure operation of interim limit’: Green
20th December 2010: Even as the High Court ruled interim cap is unlawful, Immigration Minister Damian Green has claimed the policy of having a limit has not been found to be unlawful. He has further made it clear that the government will 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 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.
Commending on the developments, chief executive of the JCWI Habib Rahman said this was a victory for democracy and the rule of law. It shows the home secretary cannot simply sideline parliament and the requirements it has imposed to check her powers. It also has important implications for migrants in the UK who were affected by the imposition of an unlawful limit.
The British National Party, meanwhile, said as already pointed out by numerous bodies, the immigration cap is in any event pointless as it affects only a tiny number of the immigration invasion pouring into Britain each year.
`That issue aside, the new twist has also revealed that the ConDem ministers are a bunch of rank amateurs who do not even understand the most basic rules of governance.
Britain is in for a torrid time under these people, with the only positive aspect being that the public will be able to see them for what they really are’.
Just about four months back the Coalition introduced its interim cap by formally laying some rules before Parliament which introduced the interim cap that was to apply to tier 1 (General) for highly skilled migrants and tier 2 (General) for skilled workers.
But the Home Secretary omitted to actually formally lay the actual figures for the cap before Parliament, and instead chose to subsequently put something in slightly more vague terms up on the UKBA website, according to JCWI.
For tier 2 it simply said there was to be a 5 per cent reduction across both tiers 1 and 2. Employers were also notified directly by email about the website entry and the reduction in their certificate allocations.
For tier 1, the website entry specified the monthly limit, and said unused capacity would be carried over to the following month. In both cases, however, there was no forewarning of the changes, nor indeed any consultation.