The Telegraph
Tuesday , November 16 , 2010
Since 1st March, 1999
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Cameron to relax immigration cap

Nov. 15: British Prime Minister David Cameron is expected to increase significantly the number of immigrants from beyond Europe permitted to enter Britain each year, The Daily Telegraph can disclose.

The Prime Minister is understood to have been influenced by business concerns that the cap introduced after the election is preventing highly-skilled people from coming to this country.

The current limit of about 2,600 non-EU migrants a month is expected to be increased to allow more than 4,000 workers a month to enter Britain next year. The final cap is still being discussed but is expected to be unveiled later this month.

This week, the Migration Advisory Committee will publish its recommendations to ministers on the level at which the cap should be set. The committee is expected to offer a range of scenarios and the coalition is expected to reject the more hardline approach.

Over the past few months, Cameron is understood to have been personally lobbied by senior business leaders warning of the economic damage caused by applying too stringent a cap.

These warnings have been reiterated during his recent trade visits to China and India. One well-placed source said: “We have listened to the concerns of business and realised that although we need to bring immigration under control, we don’t want to damage the economy. ”

The increase in the cap marks a success for Vince Cable, the business secretary, who had been an outspoken critic of the government’s previous plan and called for more flexibility to reflect wider economic conditions.

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