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UK pledges to cut non-European immigration in half.


The trio of left-wing parties ruling the UK have finally bent to public pressure.

From AP…

Britain will impose a tough annual limit on the number of non-Europeans allowed to work in the U.K. and slash visas for overseas students as it seeks to dramatically reduce immigration, the government said Tuesday.

Home Secretary Theresa May told the House of Commons that the number of non-EU nationals permitted to work in the U.K. from April 2011 will be capped at about 22,000 — a reduction of about one-fifth from 2009.

But thousands of people who are allowed to work in Britain on intracompany transfers aren’t included in those figures — or under the new quota. Critics said that means it’s unclear how Prime Minister David Cameron’s government will meet a pledge to cut net immigration, which also includes students and families of visa holders, to below 100,000 by 2015, from about 196,000 last year.

“We can’t go on like this, we must tighten up our immigration system,” May told legislators as she announced details of the new rules.

Public anxiety over immigration — and the burden on public services caused by new arrivals — was a key issue during the country’s national election, when then-leader Gordon Brown was angrily challenged by an elderly voter over workers arriving from eastern Europe.

As a member of the European Union, Britain must allow citizens of most other member states freedom to live and work in the U.K.