As the impending UK immigration changes are set to be implemented, the debate continues as to how it will affect the country as a whole.
The temporary cap has been established at 24,100 applications between the months of June 2010 and April 2011. The permanent cap is currently thought to be below 100,000 annual applications by the next election. The implementation of an immigration cap, both temporary and permanent, has spurred a country-wide debate between business leaders and top Government figures alike.
London Mayor Boris Johnson is one of the many who have taken action against the implementation of an immigration cap. "Early indications are that the imposition of an interim limit on non-EU economic migration is already causing business significant recruitment problems" stated Mayor Johnson in a letter to Home Secretary Teresa May. Within the aforementioned letter, Johnson stressed that too low a cap will "put the economic recovery at risk" and that even the temporary cap on non-EU immigrants is already causing problems for businesses within the UK.
Mayor Johnson, however, continued his argument by calling the Government to rethink their policy as the leading companies within the UK are "unanimous in their position and hostile to the proposal." He went on to say: "they warn that the limit will damage small, medium and large businesses, prevent inward investment, talent and trade opportunities coming to London, and thereby materially damage London's competitiveness."
Business leaders have also widely opposed the immigration cap being placed at such a low amount. A spokesman for the employers' body stated that the cap "places an immediate disadvantage on UK based businesses as they seek to win international business, and in doing so need to deploy internationally sought-after talent. This is the worst of all times to constrain business in its ability to access the skilled global talent it needs to support this growth".
The Government stated that it wants to bring immigration levels back to the levels of the 1990s, but also wants to focus on attracting the very best of the best to drive economic growth within the UK. The proposed cap is also meant to address the pressure on public services, infrastructure and regain public confidence in the Government's immigration system once again.