This month, some of the world’s most talented innovators attended the Innovate UK event which took place in London. The event which took place over two days was attended by 2000 people from 30 countries. Vince Cable, the Business Secretary a speaker at the event, spoke out against the UK’s harsh immigration policy and said it was difficult to comment on the policy without being disloyal to his colleagues at the Home Office.
UK Immigration Policy “Politically Toxic”
The Business Secretary for the UK, Vince Cable, told the attendees that UK’s current immigration policy was “politically toxic.” He stated that one newspaper may report an immigration story in a positive light, while another newspaper on the other side of the political spectrum would write the story negatively.
Vince Cable stated:
“Immigration is a very, very tricky issue…we’re trying to argue an economically rational case for certain categories of people – highly skilled entrepreneurs and overseas students – who can come in with the minimum of impediments. But you do need to understand the awkward political situation we’re operating in.”
UK “Outstripped” by Countries with More Welcoming Visa Systems
In April this year, a survey by Tech London Advocates, revealed that the people making up the coalition believe that the tech talent shortage is the single biggest impediment to the future of the sector in London – with 43% pointing to the talent gap and 10% to immigration legislation as the key threats to London technology’s continued growth.
Speaking after the conference, Jospéhine Goube, spokesperson for Migreat, an immigration research company stated:
‘What we see on the ground is that start-up entrepreneurs are struggling with immigration bureaucracy. When you look at how Canada, Australia and other countries like Germany are offering smoother immigration processes for these guys, what we fear is that start-up entrepreneurs are going to move there instead of London.’
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