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Opposing The Visa Bond - Nick Clegg, Britain's Deputy PM

16 Sep 2013


Immigration News

Britain's Conservative-led coalition government is split over the controversial 3,000 pounds visa bond scheme. This bond, which would affect visitors from particular countries including India, has been further exposed with deputy prime minister opposing the move.

Liberal Democrat party’s latest senior figure, Nick Clegg spoke out against plans to charge 3,000 pounds from foreigners from certain ‘high risk’ nations.

He told BBC that he has absolutely no interest in a bond that becomes an indiscriminate way of clobbering people who want to come to the UK. He added that the bonds ‘are certainly not going to go ahead’ on that basis.

Clegg confirmed that the decision was yet to be finalized, and behind the scenes, the talks were still going on.

He further added that in a coalition, he can stop things. Earlier this week, Vince Cable, Clegg's senior party colleague and UK business secretary also attacked the plans and revealed that Clegg wanted the bond to be set at 1,000 pounds and be offered to visitors from ‘high risk’ countries who have been refused a visa as a ‘discretionary tool’ for immigration officers.

However, UK home secretary Theresa May wants to set the amount at 3,000 pounds, which will be refunded upon departure but forfeited if visitors overstay their visas.

Scheduled to go ahead in November is a pilot version of the scheme which is expected to affect countries like Ghana, Nigeria, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, Pakistan and India.

Indian ministerial circles raised strong objections and sought full details on the scheme’s application.

Against the backdrop of unemployment and austerity measures brought on by the economic crisis, Immigration remains a sensitive political issue in Britain.

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