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Friday, September 17, 2010

Vince Cable sticks his neck out

On the eve of the Liberal Democrat Federal Conference, Vince Cable has used a speech to criticise the Coalition Government's immigration policy. According to the Financial Times' Westminster Blog, Vince says that the immigration cap is “doing great damage” and cited a British company that needed 300 specialists - half of which needed to come from outside the EU - but had geen given a quota of just 30:

He said he wasn’t willing to defend the existing system (a temporary cap is in place ahead of a more permanent system from next spring) and said he was “at the limit of collective responsibility”.

The FT say that Vince’s intransigence over immigration reflects similar criicism by Boris Johnson and is the most visible instance (and possibly the only one) of a Liberal Democrat minister going out on a limb against the wishes of the coalition over a policy that is hugely important to the right wing. That can only spell trouble.

This is an important point of principle for Liberal Democrats and it is good that our Ministers are continuing to fight the corner within government in an attempt to further moderate the demands of the Tory right.
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