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Immigration curbs gain wide support

But Vince Cable, the business secretary, says that an "arbitrary" cap "almost certainly won't achieve" its target, writes Alison Goddard.

More than three-quarters of the British public think that immigration should be cut, according to the annual British Social Attitudes survey, published today. The BBC reports that almost half of people think that immigration is bad for the economy and that, even among the almost one-third who think it boosts economic growth, half would like to see it curbed, anyway. In a report played on the BBC Radio 4 Today programme but recorded for a BBC 2 documentary, Vince Cable, the business secretary, described the target of reducing the difference between emigration from the UK and immigration to the UK to less than 100,000 as "arbitrary" and suggested that it would be almost impossible to achieve. 

Yesterday we published an article, available only to subscribers to HE, by Mark Halton, head of immigration at a business champion called London First, which identifies higher education as the eighth biggest export industry in the UK. He outlines why British universities should fight to increase the number of students who come to the UK from India rather than just mopping up demand from China. Meanwhile the New Statesman has an article which claims that sending more British students abroad would also enrich the nation.

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