FCO: Immigration controls are a foreign policy tool…but not for UK!

FCO: Immigration controls are a foreign policy tool…but not for UK!

[Phil Miller, Stop Deportations Blog, 27th September 2012]

More signs that the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) exert influence over UK immigration policy, and do so in a way that prioritises the needs of British companies.

The Guardian reports that an Information Rights Tribunal will decide whether the UKBA must disclose which nationalities are on its ‘blacklist’ for more scrutiny by entry clearance officers.

The FCO has already conducted a classified review of the countries on this list, highlighting which ones may be “highly offended if the UK raised these concerns publicly”. In these cases, the FCO warned that disclosure may jeopardise ‘overseas contracts for British companies’.

At the Tribunal, the FCO’s migration director, Susan Simon, said that:

“Many countries use visa and immigration policy as a foreign policy tool, reflecting their attitudes towards certain countries and the value of certain relationships. They expect us to do the same.”

In contrast, Simon claims Britain has a “risk-based approach” to immigration policy.

Why then, do the UKBA repeatedly disregard the well-documented risk of torture for Tamils deported to that great British ally, Sri Lanka?

UK immigration policy – a foreign policy tool perhaps?


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