An expert has accused the government of pandering to tabloid newspapers by imposing a non-EU migration cap and warned that Britain’s businesses are likely to suffer as a result.

Philip Bates, a partner and immigration department head at London law firm Bates, Wells & Braithwaite, claimed the debate over immigration has been distorted by the media and suggested the UK could lose ground to continental rivals.

“Migration into this country before the coalition government took power was 20 per cent economic,” he explained. “The only people that lose out of that are businesses because … they’re the people that are making the money.”

Mr Bates added that many skilled migrant workers will opt to move to countries where it is easier to get a visa and said even managing directors will fall foul of the salary exemption threshold of £40,000 per annum.

Bosses concerned about the implications of the new legislations can obtain expert advice by attending the Employing and Vetting Non-UK Nationals 2011 event next May.

Posted by Cameron Thomson