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Migrant worker cap ruled invalid

Government caps on migrant workers introduced by the Home Secretary this summer have been ruled invalid by the High Court.

Two judges said Theresa May had unlawfully attempted to "sidestep Parliamentary scrutiny" when setting the limits.

Lord Justice Sullivan and Mr Justice Burton declared that, as a result, no lawful limits were in place for two tiers of job applicants from abroad.

The ruling was a victory for the Joint Council for the Welfare of Immigrants (JCWI) and English Community Care Association (ECCA), which was concerned over the position of immigrant care workers.

The interim cap on visas for Tier 1 (general) highly skilled migrants and the number of certificates of sponsorship allowed for Tier 2 skilled workers were introduced in June-July. The Government plans to introduce a permanent limit on non-EU workers next April.

Critics say the ruling is important for British business as the current cap is damaging industry in the UK.

The changes were deliberately intended to give the minister flexibility and the ability to change the numbers allowed in to work, without having to go before Parliament for scrutiny.

Lord Justice Sullivan said: "The Secretary of State made no secret of her intentions. There can be no doubt that she was attempting to sidestep provisions for Parliamentary scrutiny set up under provisions of the 1971 Immigration Act, and her attempt was for that reason unlawful."

The changes introduced were substantive and should have been laid before Parliament, he said.

The judge declared: "In my judgment no interim limits were lawfully published or specified by the Secretary of State for either Tier 1 or Tier 2... and there is not, and never has been, a limit on the number of applicants who may be admitted either under Tier 1 or the number of certificates of sponsorship that should be issued to Tier 2 sponsors."


From Belfast Telegraph