New Zealand concerned about UK immigration cap

British Foreign Secretary William Hague and Defense Secretary Liam Fox will arrive in New Zealand on 20 January 2011 to hold talks with NZ Foreign Minister Murray McCully. Part of their discussions will cover concerns over the UK's planned immigration cap.

The cap is the UK's attempt to lower immigration from outside the European Union and is set to go into effect in April of 2011.

McCully said the immigration cap was one of a number of issues on the agenda.

McCully drew attention to Britain and New Zealand's shared history and said that he would try to leverage that in coming to an understanding with the UK.

"We would call for an acknowledgment of the special character of the relationship, the fact that New Zealanders have got strong family relationships in particular," McCully told a New Zealand press organization.

"We're looking to try and ensure that we can get the best possible deal we can for New Zealanders, that's basically the point," he added.

The UK immigration cap has been criticized by a number of groups, from UK businesses to Scottish universities. Many feel that the cap would hurt the UK's global competitiveness.

The UK could increasingly be seen as an unwelcoming destination for the world's best and brightest. This is already happening in New Zealand and India and other Countries around the World.