To `rigorously defend any legal challenge on interim migrant limit’ 27th September 2010: Despite pressures from several quarters, Immigration Minister Damian Green has made it clear the government is going ahead with the cap on immigration; and the government will rigorously defend any legal challenge on its interim migrant limit.
Green has, in fact, reiterated that the government will introduce our permanent annual limit on economic migrants from outside the EU from April 2011.
The assertion came soon after the Joint Council for the Welfare of Immigrants and other small businesses asked the court to declare unlawful the temporary cap imposed by the government on migrants.
Green asserted: ‘We will rigorously defend this challenge and are confident of success. The government has been clear: we will introduce our permanent annual limit on economic migrants from outside the EU from April 2011.
‘While we decide how the annual limit should operate, it is imperative that we have interim measures in place to avoid a rush of applications from migrants before the new rules take effect.
‘We are fully committed 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 is just one of the ways we intend to achieve this.’
The UK Border Agency added: The Joint Council for the Welfare of Immigrants (JCWI) is trying to bring a judicial review against the government, but the courts have not yet granted permission to proceed to a judicial review.
The JCWI claims that the limit has been put in place without proper consultation, and the level of the limit has not been placed before Parliament.
On 28 June 2010, the government announced that it would place an interim limit on non-European migrants coming to the UK to live and work. Set at 24,100, the interim limit equates to a 5 per cent reduction compared to the same period last year. At the same time, a consultation was launched on the mechanisms for implementing a permanent annual limit, which is due to be introduced in April 2011.
The assertions came at a time when the government is under tremendous to do away with, or at least make more liberal, the cap on immigration.
After political figureheads, law firms, and shipping industry in the UK, even the automotive industry has slammed the proposed move to place a cap on the number of immigrants entering the country.
Only recently, top executives speaking at the Financial Services Authority conference in London said the cap could see talented traders exit Britain and firms shift operations to lower-cost countries with lighter regulations.
Chief executive of funds industry body the Investment Management Association (IMA) Dick Saunders said the traffic lights were flashing red on tax and rhetoric around immigration.
Law Society chief executive Desmond Hudson has already said just when they were pulling themselves out of a crippling recession, imposing the cap now would strangle City law firms and in turn hit the businesses they act for.
By imposing a cap, there was a mistaken assumption that there would be lawyers of equal expertise in the UK and EU. But it was often the knowledge of a particular overseas jurisdiction which was of value to a firm."
Bringing to the fore the risks of severing links with the world’s largest economies, including China and India, the Law Society argued that migrant lawyers were making a significant contribution to the UK economy.
Baker & McKenzie business immigration specialist lawyer Tony Haque said the Government made an election promise to reduce immigration and, while business immigration was not the main problem, it was focusing on this area because it was easiest to reduce.