Coalition reaches migration compromise
David Cameron promised to cap immigration from outside Europe at the last election. His then rival Nick Clegg said the policy ignored the fact most immigration came from the EU.
After weeks of behind-the-scenes tension between the Lib Dem-run Business Department and the Tory-run Home Office, the coalition is about to produce its compromise.
The home secretary will, I understand, cap the number of skilled migrants at around 43,000 next year - that's just 13% lower than 2009's figure and the highest figure recommended by the independent migration advisory committee last week.
Staff transferred by their companies to the UK from another country will be exempt from the cap if their salary is over £40,000.
The Conservatives pledged to get immigration down from hundreds of thousands to tens of thousands per year. To do so they will have to persuade their coalition partners to back major cuts to other immigration routes.
Consultation on proposals to cut the number of non-degree level students coming to the UK will be published soon but have not yet got cross-coalition agreement. In the new year, ministers will produce proposals to reduce the number of family members who can join those already living here.