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Immigration, Immigration, Immigration!

In the week that UKIP won Rochester on the back of its anti-immigration stance, and Teresa May all but sounded the death knell for the net migration target, which London First has long criticised, we hosted a private roundtable discussion with the Immigration Minister, James Brokenshire MP.

Putting the heat of immigration rhetoric to one side, the debate gave members an opportunity to tell the Minister exactly how government policy and operations are impacting on their ability to do business.

We had a grown up and positive discussion which covered a great deal of ground: on border controls we pressed the need to deliver security and a strong customer experience, encouraging the uptake of new technology to speed the flow of passengers at ports.

We challenged the creeping subjectivity in decision making on visa applications for workers and students, and agreed to work with the Home Office to try to smooth out some of the processes that prevent businesses from accessing the global talent it needs in a timely manner, for example the work visa cooling-off period.

We also agreed to work with the Minister to better protect London’s genuine education institutions – universities, colleges and language schools which bring in billions of pounds to London – from the fall-out of the clampdown on the horrendous bogus outfits that are giving our world class education sector a bad name.

As figures showed another jump in net migration Mark Hilton, Head of Immigration at London First, said the government had done the right thing by laying its migration target to rest and was quoted in the Guardian, Evening Standard and Financial Times.

For more information on our immigration work, please contact Mark Hilton mhilton@londonfirst.co.uk

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