MPs warn that immigration curbs will hurt UK businesses

MPs are warning that recent restrictions on UK immigration could hurt businesses and damage the UK economy.

A panel of MPs which include both Labour and Conservative members will publish a paper warning about the potential problems for UK businesses as a result of the immigration restrictions being put in place.

The UK government has been attempting to cut down on net immigration into Britain through various means, including an annual cap on skilled immigration and tighter rules on student immigration. The changes over a relatively short period of time, has fundamentally altered the UK economic immigration system.

The popular Tier 1 General immigration scheme was replaced in favour of the new Exceptional Talent scheme, which is very, very difficult to obtain. The Tier 1 Post Study Work route is scheduled to be axed in April 2012.

Foreign students have had their work rights curtailed and many are not allowed to bring family as in the past. The UK immigration minister went so far as to say that foreign students should come here, get their education, and go home -- intentionally depriving British businesses of a wealth of skilled labour.

According to Labour MP Jack Dromey, who chairs the panel, UK businesses have been forced to deal with a rapid change in how they hire labour from abroad. According to Dromey, 20 percent of UK businesses have had a hard time recruiting workers as a direct result of the temporary cap that was in place prior to the permanent cap.

He said that the UK should be sending a positive message to businesses that Britain is open for businesses, particularly as economies around the world are now recovering from the financial crisis of 2008.