Stephen Metcalfe, MP for South Basildon & East Thurrock welcomed the Government’s cap on economic immigration.
Mr Metcalfe believes that the limit will help reduce net migration down to sustainable levels and sends a clear message that Britain is open for business.
Mr Metcalfe said: “Under Labour immigration was out of control. The Coalition Government is taking action to bring down the level of immigration by addressing all visa routes. The cap on economic migration will limit the number of people UK employers will be able to bring from outside the EU to work in skilled professions. This will reduce the numbers entering via this route by a quarter compared to Labour’s last year in office.
“The cap on economic migration will protect the business and institutions which are so vital to our economy. There will be an extra thousand visas for people of ‘exceptional talent’ to ensure that the country remains open to the brightest and the best. Other changes will ensure that the investors and entrepreneurs who can play a major part in our economic recovery will continue to find Britain an attractive destination.
Mr Metcalfe went on to slam the former Labour administration. He said: “Labour admitted they swept the issue of immigration ‘under the carpet’ – in fact they buried damning reports which revealed their failures. Now Labour claim to support ‘controlled’ immigration yet they attacked our cap on economic migration and refuse to support our reforms to the student visa route.
“This government is committed to controlling immigration. We aim to reduce net migration down from the hundreds of thousands to the tens of thousands a year. To achieve this we need to address all visa routes:
· We have capped economic migration from outside of the EU
· We have reformed the largest route, the student visa system, and clamped down on widespread abuses – we expect student visa numbers to fall by up to 80,000 or a quarter of the current total.
· We will soon take action to break the link between temporary routes and permanent settlement, and to address the family visa route.
Stephen added: “Under Labour, immigration was out control and net migration reached unsustainable levels. That’s why this Government aims to bring net migration down to the levels of the 1990s – the tens of thousands rather than the hundreds of thousands.
“Government reforms to reduce immigration will overhaul all visa routes. I believe employers must look first to people who are out of work and already in this country before
“Labour admit they swept immigration under the carpet – so it’s a shame they refuse to support the Government in putting right their mistakes.’