British MPs cast doubts on efficacy of immigration cap

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London, Nov 3 (ANI): British MPs have warned that the government would struggle to achieve its aim of limiting net migration to the UK to "tens of thousands" in five years, and added that it could "hamper businesses and prevent top-class international professionals from coming to the UK."

The Home Office had introduced a limit for work visas for non-EU citizens in June this year, a key part of the Conservative election manifesto that intends to replace this temporary cap of 24,100 by permanent measures from April 2011.

However, the Commons home affairs committee has said that a cap would "make little difference to immigration overall," only affect one percent to 20 percent of the total number of immigrants, unless it was set at virtually zero, the BBC reports.

The committee's report stated that there was a risk that a permanent cap could "hamper businesses, prevent top-class international professionals from coming to the UK and damage the country's ability to recruit the most distinguished scientists into universities and highly talented individuals into UK companies and public services".

Meanwhile, Labour MP Keith Vaz, the committee's chairman, said: Successive governments have enacted changes to the immigration system with almost immediate effect, bypassing parliamentary conventions.

"Such unnecessary haste leads to poor decision-making which is more likely to be challenged in the courts. The government must ensure that Parliament be given the opportunity fully to scrutinise all significant changes to the immigration system before they are introduced," he added.

The government however says that the cap would enable Britain to control levels of immigration, ensuring a supply of highly skilled people, while reducing the burden on public services. (ANI)

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