Lord Bilimoria criticises UK government on immigration cap

The Indian born peer, Lord Bilimoria, the founder of the Cobra Beer company, has criticised the UK government over its immigration policy, according to the Bradford Telegraph and Argus, a Yorkshire newspaper.

Lord Bilimoria was speaking at a charity dinner in Bradford organised by Mohammed Aslam, the founder of the Aagrah Group. The Aagrah Group runs 15 restaurants and sells a range of Indian style sauces in Asda and Tesco.

Lord Bilimoria said 'an immigration cap is a mad idea. Restricting the supply of people from overseas would mean that industry would suffer and especially this industry (Indian restaurants) which cannot get the staff it needs.'

The UK government introduced a cap for Tier 2 (General) visas in 2010. The cap means that only 20,700 Tier 2 (General) visas can be issued in any one year though, in fact, fewer than 9,000 were awarded last year. The government also put a moratorium on all unskilled immigration to the UK in 2008. This means that unskilled staff, such as Indian waiters, cannot now get work visas to travel to Britain.

Lord Bilimoria also criticised the UK Border Agency for its decision to remove the Highly Trusted Sponsor status from London Metropolitan University, thereby preventing it from teaching students from outside the European Economic Area. He agreed that 'duff' colleges should be closed down but said that the London Metropolitan decision would damage the UK's ability to attract entrepreneurs and other skilled immigrants in future.

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