Liam Fox calls for change in approach to UK visas

08 Jul 2013 | Posted by Carl Thomas

Former Coalition Cabinet minister Liam Fox has called for Britain to change its approach to UK visas and immigration.

In an article in The Telegraph, Fox suggested that the country is looking at things from the wrong angle when it comes to visas and work permits, with too much focus currently being put on figures rather than the situation at hand.

"We need to move away from an immigration debate that is purely about numbers and start to talk about which individuals and skills we will need in the future," he said. "We need to stop talking about how many people are coming into Britain and start talking about which people are coming into Britain."

The article comes as Prime Minister David Cameron continues to aim towards his target of reducing net migration to the tens of thousands by the end of this Parliament. Some progress has been made in this area with numbers falling by around a third between the final year of the Labour Government and the current level.

Since then Labour leader Ed Miliband has admitted that his party's earlier 'open door' approach to immigration was flawed and has suggested that things do indeed need to be tightened up in the future.

At the moment, Labour and the Coalition are looking for the right balance to stimulate the British economy and create a fair system for migrants. Fox's suggestion is to look to other countries for inspiration, such as the US: "The US has long operated a Green Card system with quotas that benefit immigrations with a profession or experience in business, the arts, spot or academia – talents that benefit American society and their economy. We need to follow a similar path."