British Prime Minister David Cameron sought on Thursday to allay Indian concerns over the proposed immigration cap on non-EU citizens by 2011 — a matter that has caused uneasiness in Delhi.
Cameron asserted that the new policy places no barrier to the “brightest and the best”.
India has already expressed concerns about the effect such a policy would have on business relations, on Indians wanting to study in Britain, and on Indian professionals seeking employment.
“It is wrong to say we can’t have, at one and the same time, a sensible, controlled immigration and a dynamic and fully open economy,” Cameron said during a round-table discussion on Britain-India trade relations.
On the issue of overseas students, he said previous immigration policy had resulted in numerous “bogus colleges teaching bogus courses” with no quality control.
“What we want is the brightest and best from India and elsewhere. That just means having a proper system in place,” he said.
The UK Business Secretary Vince Cable, who is part of Cameron’s accompanying delegation, stressed that the cap would not hamper movement of the employees of foreign investors. “The cap system will respect the needs for foreign investors from India and elsewhere to have easy movement of their people,” he added.
UK had sought Indian comments on the proposal ahead of Cameron’s visit.
1. Cameron has ruled out the return of the Kohinoor to India
2. “I know there is also a great argument about the original provenance of the Kohinoor diamond. I’m afraid this will disappoint viewers, but it’s going to have to stay put,” he said.
3. “What tends to happen with these questions is that if you say yes to one, you suddenly find the British Museum will be emptied,” he said.