Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills Vince Cable has criticised the government’s immigration policy saying it is keeping away international businesses, students, and workers.
Speaking at Liberal Democrat Autumn Conference, Mr. Cable said “Brazilian and other students who would bring economic and wider benefits to British universities are being told they are burdensome immigrants so they go to the United States instead. Many Chinese tourists and businessmen are so fed up with the hassle and humiliation involved in trying to visit Britain to invest here that they are taking their money to Germany and France.”
Mr. Cable said the message international businessmen keep hearing from some of the cabinet members is that Britain is “closed for business.”
“That must change,” he said. “Moreover, our status as a popular destination for job-creating investment from Japan, the USA and mainland Europe could be compromised by careless talk from some of my cabinet colleagues – let alone the backbench Bones and Hollobones – about Britain leaving the European Union and the Single Market. Britain’s future in the European Single Market is being put at risk by the Tories. Yet millions of British jobs depend on our protecting that relationship.”
Mr. Cable reminded the Liberal Democrats that they “did not vote to join a coalition with UKIP.”
He observed that the Tories were “frightened by the public reaction to overseas workers.”
Mr. Cable, however, said “there is something deeply opportunistic about people who lecture our workers, and the rest of Europe, about the need for free and flexible labour markets, but then squawk with panic when those free and flexible labour markets bring in foreign workers.”