Sajid Javid wins battle to relax cap on skilled migrants amid NHS recruitment fears
Thousands more skilled workers from outside the EU will be allowed to come to the UK under plans set to be unveiled by Sajid Javid later this week.
The Home Secretary has secured a significant relaxation of Theresa May's hardline 'Tier 2' visa cap, which currently allows just 20,700 skilled workers to come to the UK from non-EU countries every year.
Amid fears that the cap is putting a heavy strain on NHS recruitment, Mr Javid has reportedly convinced the Prime Minister to exclude non-EU doctors and nurses from the limit.
In a major overhaul of the immigration system set to be unveiled by the Home Secretary on Friday, The Telegraph reports that the Government will also allow business to bring in an extra 8,000 skilled migrants a year from industries including IT, engineering and teaching.
Mr Javid is said to have won the backing of Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt, as well as Business Secretary Greg Clark and the Education Secretary Damian Hinds in his bid to loosen the Tier 2 cap.
The latest move will heap pressure on Mrs May to scrap the Government's overall pledge to slash net migration to the "tens of thousands".
A chorus of top Tories, including Scottish Conservative leader Ruth Davidson and powerful backbencher Jacob Rees-Mogg have urged the Prime Minister to shelve the controversial cap in recent months.
Mr Javid hinted at action on the skilled workers cap earlier this month, and told the Andrew Marr show he would also "look at" the inclusion of students in immigration figures.
On curbs facing migrant doctors he said: "I know a number of my colleagues certainly want me to take a look at this, and that’s exactly what I’m doing and I hope to think about this more carefully and see what can be done.”