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London Mayor criticizes UK immigration cap

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London Mayor Boris Johnson says that the UK Government's immigration cap will harm Britain's economy and make the nation uncompetitive. Johnson said that business was having a difficult time finding skilled staff to fill vacant positions.

Since the summer of 2010, the UK Government has imposed a monthly limit on skilled visas for workers from outside the EU. They also announced a permanent cap to begin in April 2011 that will in effect mean the end of the popular Tier 1 (General) visa. The new cap would force businesses to rely on Tier 2, which requires applicants to have a job offer.

Many business groups and even some members of Government do not believe the Government claim that they will reduce immigration into the UK. Figures suggest that reducing non-EU immigration will do little to reduce net immigration into the country.

"There is a risk that the necessity of putting up a public show of rhetoric will do possible damage to London's competitiveness," he said. "I think there is a case for flexibility and I think the government understands that," he added.

The London mayor is not the only voice critical of the immigration cap. Scotland also criticized the cap, stating that the Scottish government should be able to decide how many skilled foreign workers it should allow into the Scottish labour market.