David Cameron’s Immigration Reverse Ferret

14 February 2013

10:56 AM

14 February 2013

10:56 AM

If you seek cheap entertainment, the sight of government ministers defending their immigration policies to the foreign press is always worth a sardonic chuckle or two. And, lo, it came to pass that David Cameron assured Indian TV that, actually and despite the impression his coalition may have given, Her Britannic Majesty’s government is jolly keen on bright young Indians coming to the United Kingdom.

Which is just as well. If, as the Prime Minister is keen on suggesting, Britain is but one entrant in a keenly competitive “global race” then it makes no sense at all to restrict our selection policy to those born on these sodden islands. The global gene pool is deeper and better than ours.


Fortunately, Britain remains an attractive place to study, work and live. This despite a Conservative party that has done its best to send the signal that, actually, Britain is “full” and we’d rather not have you here. No, not even if you are smart and highly-skilled.

Now the Prime Minister is scurrying around wondering why anyone could possibly have got the impression that Britain would prefer it if you took your talents and energy someplace else. Well, that’s what happens when you pander to your base.

Still, it’s always good to see politicians recoiling from the consequences of their own rhetoric:

David Cameron has urged Indian students to come and study in the UK as he tried to address concerns about tougher visa rules ahead of visiting the country.

Ministers have come under fire for tightening the rules on post-study leave to remain in the UK which some businesses and universities believe is deterring people from applying.

Mr Cameron accepted that policies may not have been “communicated properly”.

[…] “Now we need to take that message out to talented young people in India and say if you want to make that choice, Britain will be incredibly welcoming.”

And, presumably, not just to Indians but to students from all across the globe?

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Show comments
  • chris_xxxx

    Coming to the UK to study is fine. Expecting to stay on and get a job is not. No foreign graduates from British Universities should have the right to work here. They should apply for a work visa.

    There are 2.5 million unemployed in the UK and 20,000 engineering graduates are produced each year. Work visas should be given only to people who have the skills and education which are needed.

  • Framer

    Is it true what Cam says that if a foreign national graduate can get a job at £20,000 pa they can stay ad infinitum?

    It doesn’t hold out much hope for local graduates getting fair access to our better jobs. Shooting them in the foot more like.

  • Clive Bates

    Supposing the UK had a high-tech, knowledge-intensive export industry with a fine global reputation and numerous competitive future-facing advantages. But instead of getting behind it, the government decided it would insult and harass its customers and direct them elsewhere. We would think it absurd and negligent. Higher education is exactly this industry, and that’s what the government has been doing.

    • Grrr8

      Don’t tell that to the little Englanders here who would rather see their green and pleasant land unsullied by darkies whilst collecting their barely affordable pensions cheques.

      • chris_xxxx

        Ah, the racist, xenophobic card. It’s not racist to want controlled immigration Grr8. Look at what mass immigration has done to the country; strains on housing, infrastructure, NHS etc.

        Having an open door policy does not work. There are 2.5 million unemployed in the UK and 1 million are between 16 to 24 years of age.

        Studying in the UK should not give automatic rights to work here. Ever heard of work visas? They have them in the USA and call them H1 visas.

        • Grrr8

          Still got work visas in the UK. Students only have an automatic right to apply for one.
          Sent from my iPad

  • Youbian

    Why is it a good thing? How is this change of policy going to help anyone. If someone comes here works for a few years they then have the right to apply for citizenship. The country is overcrowded. Doesn’t anyone get it?