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AtW
8th October 2010, 22:56
India trade deal with EU will allow thousands of immigrants into Britain

A planned "free trade agreement" with India, to be signed this December, will give skilled Indian IT workers, engineers and managers easy passage into Europe in return for European companies gaining access to India's huge domestic market.

The deal has split some of the most senior figures in the Conservative-Liberal Democrat Coalition. Vince Cable, the Business Secretary, and William Hague, the Foreign Secretary, argue that the EU-India agreement must go ahead because it is worth hundreds of millions of pounds to business. But David Cameron, the Prime Minister, and Theresa May, the Home Secretary, are opposed. They, and other Conservatives, have insisted that the government uphold a high-profile pledge to bring down net immigration, which is currently at 176,000 entrants a year.

"We will bring net migration down to the tens of thousands," said Mrs May, the Home Secretary, on Wednesday. "Our economy will remain open to the best and the brightest in the world, but it's time to stop importing foreign labour on the cheap."

Cabinet talks over the deal begin next week and senior government sources have admitted that "the circle must be squared" to thrash out a government agreement that protects the country from increased immigration without damaging British industry.

The European Commission has asked for comments by the end of October from the Cabinet and other EU governments on a negotiating position that was hammered out with the Indians over the summer.

India has insisted on increased mobility for its skilled workers in return for reduced tariffs on European products and the lifting of some restrictions on businesses bidding for public procurement contracts.

Under the current EU negotiating position, Indians who are skilled professionals will be able to work in any EU country under contract. The UK will be bound by any final EU agreement and British companies will be able to recruit in sectors such as information technology, management consultancy and engineering.

Many Conservative politicians fear the trade deal will undercut the wages of British managers and make a nonsense of a promise to cap immigration from non-EU countries.

Philip Davies, the Conservative MP for Shipley, said: "I am not a big fan of the EU doing trade deals on our behalf. My personal view is that the immigration cap is non-negotiable."

The UK is usually on the free-trade wing of the EU and British is business is concerned that the country could instead be aligned with more protectionist countries such as France.

David Frost, the director general of the British Chambers of Commerce, said companies needed to have the ability to recruit skilled employees from outside Britain. "The UK must maintain its position as a member state that is an advocate of free trade, and we must surrender no ground to protectionism," he said. "We cannot allow any proposal to improve the UK-India trade relationship to be delayed because of disagreements within Europe over the movement of highly skilled migrants."

One problem for the Coalition is that the deal struck between Liberal Democrats and Conservatives agrees on both a limit on immigration and on forging deeper ties with India. Damian Green, the immigration minister, has already said that new annual quotas would be flexible enough to allow more Indian businessmen and professionals to move to Britain as trade between the two countries increased.

A Brussels study has predicted that under an EU-wide deal with India, Europe’s economy would grow by £3.9 billion a year.

Source: India trade deal with EU will allow thousands of immigrants into Britain - Telegraph (http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/uknews/immigration/8051349/India-trade-deal-with-EU-will-allow-thousands-of-immigrants-into-Britain.html)

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At least now Western contractors will be on level playing field - they can go to India to undercut local workforce :eyes

cojak
9th October 2010, 08:26
...says the anti-EU Torygraph.

Troll
9th October 2010, 09:23
Didn't the EU sign up to allowing shed loads of Africans in too?

TimberWolf
9th October 2010, 09:43
Lisbon treaty? i.e. give away IT to countries who know better. At least the UK has, the other countries do know better. Doomed.

MrMark
9th October 2010, 09:48
I wonder which CUK'er posted this comment?


Great. I came to Germany in the first place because NuLabour allowed a load of Indians into the UK to fill a non-existing IT skills shortage and I had no work in the UK for over six months. If this is repeated in Germany and continued in the UK, I will be forced to return to the UK and most likely, end up on benefits.

Summarises what a lot of us have been saying.:tantrum:

NoddY
9th October 2010, 09:53
For every imported Indian it means out of 300,000,000 working Europeans not a single one of them is suitable for the job. Not a single one.