UK PM May’s stand to cut immigration below 100,000 could damage ties with India

British Prime Minister Theresa May vowed to stick to her party’s pledge to cut the migration figures down to “tens of thousands”, evoking a strong reaction from Liberal Democrats who warned that her tough stand will damage ties with countries like India.
The Prime Minister said it was important to hit this target given the pressure immigration had put on public services and those on lower incomes.
The pledge to bring immigration below 100,000 will form part of her Conservative Party’s manifesto for the June 8 general election.
“I think that it is important that we do say and continue to say that we do want to bring migration to sustainable levels. We believe that is the tens of thousands,” May said.
“Once we leave the EU, we will, of course, have the opportunity to ensure we have control of our borders. We will be able to establish our rules for people coming from the EU. That is a part of the picture we have not been able to control before,” she said.
Net migration, which is the difference between the number of people arriving into and leaving the country, stands at around 273,000 in the UK and the Tories have repeatedly missed their target of cutting that down to tens of thousands since it was announced in the general election in 2010 and then repeated in 2015.
There was widespread speculation over whether May would renew the pledge for this election and she chose to use Brexit as the reason to hold on to what has been described by Opposition parties as an “artificial” target which is impossible to meet.
Liberal Democrat party attacked the ruling Conservative party for its stance. The party’s shadow home secretary, Brian Paddick, said May’s stand on the issue will damage ties with countries like India.
“The leave campaign, many members of which are now in the Cabinet, made a clear commitment during the referendum campaign to lift visa restrictions on people from India and other Commonwealth countries, it is now clear that this is another leave lie,” Paddick said.
“Britain’s Asian communities are realising that these complacent, divisive and Brexit-style parties do not represent them and our increase of the vote to 18 per cent in last week’s local election demonstrates the Liberal Democrats are making significant inroads with voters up and down the country, including many Asian voters,” he said.

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