Boris Johnson: Tough visa rules are damaging the UK economy

TIER 1, TIER 2, Work Permit, London, Boris Johnson, UK Economy, Prime Minister, Visa 19 November 2012
Boris Johnson has argued that tough visa rules are stopping highly talented individuals from being recruited from abroad by universities and City employers, damaging the UK economy.

At the same time as John Cridland, the Confederation of British Industry director-general, called on David Cameron to do away with the target to reduce net migration to the "tens of thousands" by 2015, Johnson stated that the current visa rules are "not in the interests of London and the UK economy" and that "we are losing a massive business opportunity" and "excluding talented people".

Highlighting the impact on Britain's academic organisations, he said that the country is "closing itself off from some of the best and brightest students from around the world".

Whilst he agreed that people understand that "A tough immigration policy would have said that you can't come here unless you have a visible means of support and are not going to be a burden on the National Health Service or housing system", he argued that people cannot understand the reasoning behind the current system's exclusion of talented staff and students.

Specifically addressing the tough visa rules in reference to London's growing service industry, he said: "When ICT companies and banks cannot get the professionals they need to come easily to London, whether it's moving around the firms or joining firms, then that stops the economic machine, and it starts being a block to growth."

A spokesman from Downing Street said that, whilst Britain's culture and economy have been enriched and strengthened by immigration, it must be controlled "so that people have confidence in the system."

He said that this is why a cap on immigration is necessary, in order to reduce the number of migrants coming into the country from non-EU nations.

Tags: TIER 1 , TIER 2 , Work Permit , London , Boris Johnson , UK Economy , Prime Minister , Visa

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