Prime Minister Theresa May has once again reiterated her desire to stick to previously stated immigration targets.
This is despite the fact that experts have warned over potential skills shortages in the NHS, and the detrimental impact of this scheme.
The Prime Minister spoke during a visit to Harrow, Northwest London, declaring her aim of ensuring that migrants are reduced from the current level of 272,000 to below 100,000.
The 100,000 migrant target had been set by the government over the last six years it has been in office, but it has failed to meet this.
“We will continue to say that we do want to bring net migration down to sustainable levels. We believe that is the tens of thousands,” May commented.
Although the prime minister neglected to give a specific timescale, managers in business and other sectors particularly reliant on migrant labour have already warned of problems caused by the policy.
Chris Hopson, chief executive of NHS Providers, believes that the targets on migration are unsustainable.
“We have NHS trusts in London telling us of significant workforce gaps because it is harder to attract people from the EU,” Hopson suggested.
While the aftermath of Britain’s decision to exit the European Union has brought a great deal of debate and discord, there is a general consensus that skilled employees from the European Union should be allowed to stay.
Indeed, a poll conducted for the Evening Standard newspaper indicated that the overwhelming majority of Londoners believe that Britain should keep its doors open to overseas students.
Around 70% of those polled came to this conclusion.
Meanwhile, Will Higham, from business group London First, indicated that there is already statistical evidence that the hangover from Brexit is deterring foreign students from entering British universities.
“Since the referendum, the number of international students coming here has dropped by 30,000. This is a big loss to both the economy and to local communities.”
Historically, Britain has attracted more university students from foreign climes than any country other than the United States.
And Professor Julia Black, of the London School of Economics, suggested that Britain could lose its exalted place in education if the current trends continue.
“For London and the UK to remain as world leaders in higher education we need to be able to continue to recruit and support the most talented students and staff, no matter where they come from.”
While Jessica Cole, head of policy at the Russell Group of top universities, echoed this sentiment.
“International students are good for London and good for the UK. They are indispensable for our universities.”
This would seem to be bad news for the healthcare system at a time when critical aspects of the NHS, such as general practice and Accident and Emergency, are facing a serious pressure.