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Tory minister calls for automotive industry exemption from immigration cap

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A Tory minister and Japanese car makers Nissan have called for an immigration cap 'exemption' for the automotive industry.

The annual immigration cap came into effect earlier this summer, much to the chagrin of the UK business community and even some in the Cabinet -- Secretary of State for Business, Vince Cable, is a vocal opponent and has said it is doing "huge damage" to the economy.

Now Conservative MP Mark Prisk, the Minister for Business and Enterprise, has called on the Home Office to grant the automotive industry an exemption from the cap. "We do not want the immigration cap to be a brake on the automotive industry in this country," he said. "We are looking at how the rules would work for the number of non-EU technical staff per company."

Nissan has also called on the government to protect short-term work placements, known as Inter Company Transfers (ICTs), or risk firms withdrawing investment from the UK.

"The electric vehicle battery facility currently under construction at Nissan's Sunderland plant relies heavily on knowledge gathered through reciprocal visits between UK and Japanese engineers," said a spokesperson.

"Capping ICTs hampers this kind of development and sends the wrong message to global business looking to invest in the UK."

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