UK Skilled Worker Visas – Scrap Cap, Cable Tells May

Vince Cable, the business Secretary has written to Secretary of State for the Home Department, Theresa May, urging the scrapping of the skilled worker cap. The cap of 20,700 skilled worker visas per year, was set in 2011. This year’s numbers are already approaching it. Cable (a LibDem Minister) calls the cap “a barrier to growth” and suggests that if it cannot be scrapped then unused quota from previous years should be rolled over (there were 6,780 unused last year). The cap has been widely criticised as bad for business and there has been little attempt to justify it on an informed economic basis. One wonders what other reasons there could be.

This immigration blog post: Immigration Lawyer Jeremy Chipperfield, practising from the chambers of Michael Mansfield QC, Chancery Lane, also writes at Immigration Barrister website www.iBarristersChambers.com

Immigration Splits the Right

David Cameron’s ship was not sinking when Douglas Carswell and then his besty, Mark Reckless  decided to leave, but there is now real pressure to steer hard right on immigration law and avoid mutiny of supporters.

Reckless did his best, in the timing  (during Conservative’s B’ham conference), delivery (at UKIP’s conference in Doncaster) and in his description (Tory leadership had let voters down) of his defection to wreck Tory prospects at the next election. UKIP suggest at least one more Tory is expected to jump- possibly more, depending on the outcomes of the by-elections.

Today’s sunday Times reports one senior Tory MP saying the defections mean it is impossible to foresee a Conservative majority at the next election.

According to The Sunday Times, data disclosed by Tory peer, lord Ashcroft, from a Survey of more than 8,000 voters, shows more than a quarter of those who voted Conservative in 2010 no longer support the party- and almost three quarters of them now support UKIP. A poll for BBC’s Sunday Politics suggests 30% of Tory councillors believe Cameron should strike an electoral pact with UKIP. And 86% believe immigration has been detrimental to the UK.

The central divisive issues have been immigration and the UK’s relationship with Europe. So how does all this change the bigger picture? Ironically, if it splits the anti-immingration and anti-Europe vote (mostly former conservative voters), it could make a labour Government more likely and reduce the prospects of an EU referendum. On the other hand if a deal were done between Conservatives and UKIP… well that would be different again.

As ever, the way the country is run seems to have more to do with the machinations of the political class than with the will of the people.

I am sure they know best.

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Photo: Thanks Yorkville

This immigration blog post: Immigration Lawyer Jeremy Chipperfield, practising from the chambers of Michael Mansfield QC, Chancery Lane, also writes at Immigration Barrister website www.iBarristersChambers.com

Reckless Jumps Right in Front of Chanting Crowd

On a stage at the UKIP’s Doncaster conference, Tory backbencher Mark Reckless today announced his defection to UKIP. His views diverge from those of the Tory leadership in a number of areas including Immigration. Barrister, Banker and City Economist in the past, Reckless has latterly been known as something of a loose cannon in conservative circles (he was once part of a rebellion of conservative MPs on the EU Budget).

He told an entranced audience he sees the Tory leadership as “part of the problem that is holding our country back”, and that he believes voters felt “ripped off and lied to”.

On immigration he said: “I promise to cut immigration while treating people fairly and humanely, I cannot keep that promise as a Conservative, I can keep it as UKIP”. The Immigration Rules are insane, he continued (many immigration lawyers would agree, for one reason or another) and there is no sense in which Britain has control over who comes into the country and in what numbers.

His defection will trigger a by-election in Reckless’ constituency, Rochester and Strood, where he is expected to fight for his new team. This announcement is timed for maximum impact during conference season and the by-election coming only months before the General Election.

It was a bit of a coup for Nigel Farage who, with conjuror’s flair, produced Reckless to a whooping crowd. They continued to chant (“Ukip”) throughout his speech.

The move (alone or with any further similar defections) will raise the importance of immigration generally and European free movement in particular in the coming debate.

Reckless won his Kent seat with a majority of 9,953 in 2010, and was elected to the Home Affairs Select Committee in the same year. He has argued publicly for the deportation of Abu Hamza and Abu Qatada. He has been a vocal critic of the European Court of Human Rights (as “eroding British Freedom and democracy”) and the European Budget. As one of the relatively new MPs after the 2010 by election he had to apologise for missing a vote because he was too drunk- “I apologise unreservedly and I don’t plan to drink again at Westminster” (sound familiar?).

Well, all in all it sounds like Mr Reckless will feel at home with his new friends.

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Photos: Mark reckless; the Freedom Association. Thank you both.

Immigration Lawyer Jeremy Chipperfield, practising from the chambers of Michael Mansfield QC, Chancery Lane, also writes at Immigration Barrister website iBarristersChambers

Europe, the UK, Visas, Immigration Immigration and Immigration

I have been told by a fellow immigration barrister that my last post lacked gravitas and sacrificed political critique in favour of sloppy invective. I apologise and will try to do better. To a green field in South Yorkshire, they came. Bacon sandwiches in hand. They would cut UK immigration  to 20%, they roared, encourage discrimination against non-British Workers, turn away foreigners arriving at borders without ID, and exile released prisoners from their former neighbourhoods. They stood up for the Great British Values against the liberal lefties (who, by the way virtually encouraged the abuse of white girls by Asian men). They cheered their (mono)culture spokesman Peter Whittle who berated multiculturalism. They stood to hear from the B&B owners who bravely turned a gay couple away from their inn. They Made England Proud. This was the UKIP’s annual conference at Doncaster Racecourse. God Save the Queen. Not everyone holds that particular basket of views- this is after all a free country (for the moment). Simon Walker, Director General of the Institute of Directors (den of Reds and liberal lefties) commented: …if it were to succeed in pulling the UK out of Europe, and bar immigration from the continent entirely… it would be economic lunacy. Free trade, access to foreign investment and skills from across the world are key to UK’s prosperity. UKIP’s immigration plan is a nightmarish vision of stagnation and irrelevance for Britain… . For the similar views of other people much cleverer and more articulate than I, read here.

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Immigration Lawyer Jeremy Chipperfield, practising from the chambers of Michael Mansfield QC, Chancery Lane, also writes at Immigration Barrister website iBarristersChambers

UKIP Manifesto – Right People, Right Times

I thought you might be interested in UKIP’s 2014 manifesto. It has 8 pages:- one is a picture of Nigel, two are pictures of other lovely people, one is a picture representing an  earthquake and the last page is a poster for your window telling canvassers from other parties to go back where they belong (below).

And there are 3 pages of words. If you want to read them, click the link below. Something about immigration and fewer UK visas.

Immigration Lawyer Jeremy Chipperfield, practising from the chambers of Michael Mansfield QC, Chancery Lane, also writes at Immigration Barrister website iBarristersChambers

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Immigration Lawyer Jeremy Chipperfield, practising from the chambers of Michael Mansfield QC, Chancery Lane, also writes at Immigration Barrister website iBarristersChambers

Its Official (Sort of): Labour to Scrap Net Immigration Targets

Shadow Home Secretary, Yvette Cooper, told a fringe event at the Labour Party Conference that she would abandon the net migration targets set (and missed) by the present government. These targets have been much criticised by businesses,  universities and immigration lawyers.

She said Labour would set specific targets for different types of immigration- they will address UK student visas, Skilled Migrant Visas, Work Visas, and Family Visit Visas separately.

She said “We think immediately what should happen is that students… should be taken out of the net migration target straight away”.

She criticised the net migration calculation for its failure to distinguish between types of immigration which are significantly different.

This is a significant move in a climate of escalating anti-immigration rhetoric and in the months leading up to the next General Election. Labour will be concerned to prevent anti-immigration UKIP and others from presenting this position in a misleading way to the significant part of the electorate who appear to be primarily concerned about migrant inflow- so we can expect this statement to feed political debate over the coming days and weeks.

Labour will be expecting UKIP to seize on this statement its ongoing efforts to recruit “disaffected white working-class Labour voters” (where do they get the idea that politicians are so manipulative?).

Immigration Lawyer Jeremy Chipperfield, practising from the chambers of Michael Mansfield QC, Chancery Lane, also writes at Immigration Barrister website iBarristersChambers

Labour Supporters Want EU Referendum

A majority of labour supporters (who express a preference) support a referendum on Britain’s membership of the EU, says British Future survey. 45% expressed support whilst 36% are against it.

This will put even more pressure on Mliband in relation to Labour’s position on a referendum in the run up to next year’s general election.

46% of Labour supporters agreed that politicians who were opposed to such a referendum (the party’s stance) were against it because they believed it would result in changes they didn’t want to see.

Which makes you wonder about democracy.

Immigration Lawyer Jeremy Chipperfield, practising from the chambers of Michael Mansfield QC, Chancery Lane, also writes at Immigration Barrister website iBarristersChambers