Nick Clegg, UK’s deputy Prime Minister and leader of the Liberal Democrat Party has said on Sunday that he will try to oppose any attempt on the government’s part to implement the controversial £3,000 visa bond to be imposed on visitors from countries like India and Nigeria, abc news reports.
Earlier in the year, the coalition government (of which the Liberal Democrat Party is a partner) had announced a refundable £3,000 visa bond for first time visitors to the United Kingdom from certain countries they considered “high risk” countries to discourage the visitors from overstaying in the UK. The countries are Nigeria, Ghana, India, Pakistan, Bangladesh and Sri Lanka.
This announcement was greeted with outrage from government officials in the countries affected and the British Government has no disclosed how many visa applicants will be affected.
Nick Clegg revealed in a BBC interview that him and his Liberal Democrat party members had “differences of emphasis” with their coalition partners, the conservatives, over the plan and its details are still being discussed in government.
“I am absolutely not interested in a bond which becomes an indiscriminate way of clobbering people who want to come to this country,” Clegg told the BBC. He said the bonds “are certainly not going to go ahead” on that basis.
“Of course in a coalition I can stop things,” he added.
Immigration has become a topical political issue in the United Kingdom with many citizens believing that immigrants put a further squeeze on public resources, jobs and benefits. One of David Cameron’s election promises was to cut net immigrations to “tens of thousands” from the hundreds of thousands a year that the UK was receiving yearly before he became Prime Minister.
This election promise has put his party, the conservative party, at loggerheads with their coalition partners, the Liberal Democrats.