London, UK – December 24, 2023
The UK government has revised its stringent visa rules, originally aimed at reducing immigration by 300,000 individuals annually. In response to widespread criticism, the plan to only allow those earning £38,700 or more to bring their spouses to the UK has been postponed. Instead, the income threshold will increase to £29,000 in the spring, providing relief for many families. The move follows internal opposition within the Conservative Party and calls for a more considered approach to immigration policy.
The original proposal, dubbed the “family breakup bill” by the Liberal Democrats, faced backlash from Tory MPs and accusations of being a hastily conceived idea to placate hardliners within the party. Home Secretary James Cleverly maintains the government’s commitment to reducing net legal migration by 300,000 individuals annually. However, critics argue that the decision undermines efforts to control migration and highlights the need for a more consultative and well-planned approach.
Shadow Home Secretary Yvette Cooper and Liberal Democrat spokesperson Alistair Carmichael both criticize the lack of consultation and planning in the government’s handling of immigration. Cooper emphasizes the need for expert advice, suggesting consultation with the migration advisory committee, while Carmichael questions the coherence of the decision-making process within the Home Office.