Skip to main content

Immigration Cap (Intra-company Transfers)

Volume 518: debated on Thursday 18 November 2010

6. What discussions he has had with the Secretary of State for the Home Department on the future of intra-company transfers following the introduction of the proposed immigration cap. (24726)

Ministers, officials and I are in regular contact with the Home Secretary and other Ministers and officials in the Home Office to discuss the implementation of the commitment to limit non-EU economic migration. That includes discussions on intra-company transfers.

That answer will be of interest to companies from Canada, the USA, Korea, India, Israel and Saudi Arabia that are already in the Tees valley. Will the Secretary of State ensure that the Thai company SSI is able to bring in the executives that it needs to make a success of its forthcoming purchase of the Redcar steelworks?

The answer is yes. I pay tribute to the role that my hon. Friend has played in ensuring that SSI was able to come to the UK and transform the prospects of the Redcar plant. I can give him that assurance. Indeed, The Prime Minister said at Prime Minister’s questions that in terms of the overall cap on migration,

“things such as inter-company transfers should not be included in what we are looking at.”—[Official Report, 3 November 2010; Vol. 517, c. 920.]

But companies such as Nissan, Toyota and Sharp Electronics in my constituency are investing in the UK and bringing teams to train British workers in new green technologies. The prevention of inter-company transfers is stopping them investing in British business, so why is the Business Secretary supporting the Tory immigration cap that he opposed at the general election?

The hon. Gentleman did not listen to my previous answer. The Prime Minister was quite explicit on this, and I will repeat what he said:

“things such as inter-company transfers should not be included”

in our proposal for the immigration cap. I have spoken to Nissan and other companies, and the Government are well aware of the needs of business. We are open to business and we welcome foreign investors. The proposal on the immigration cap will be pursued, but not in ways that damage those companies.