Reacting to the Home Secretary’s immigration statement to Parliament today, David Frost, Director General of the British Chambers of Commerce, said:

“We welcome the Government’s apparent climb-down on the controversial ‘two strikes and you’re out’ proposal. No one supports businesses that flout employment laws and hire illegal labour, often in dangerous working conditions. But draconian measures must not be allowed to damage economic growth for those firms keen to abide the law.”

“It is important to ensure that businesses don’t carry the can for the Government's continuing immigration fiasco by ensuring our borders are secure before implementing a sanctions programme against rogue employers. Companies already make a series of checks when recruiting new employees and the overwhelming majority are keen to ensure that they are operating within the constraints of the law."

"There is evidence that the Government has been showering National Insurance numbers like confetti, making it harder for businesses to ensure that new recruits are genuinely supposed to be in the UK: employers must not be placed in the cross-hairs as a by-product of the Government's mismanagement of the National Insurance and immigration systems.”

"At a time when the economic recovery is so delicately balanced and we are promoting the enterprise economy these measures could put yet another administrative burden on businesses and dissuade them from growing and employing new staff of foreign nationality. We strongly urge the government to think carefully about the detail of these proposals."