European Commission could open the UK's door to Indian IT workers

A planned free trade agreement between the EU and India will give skilled Indian IT workers easy entry into the UK in return for European companies being given access to the massive Indian domestic market.

Just when we were waiting to see if Intra Company Transfers (ICTs) are to be included in the immigration cap the boundaries look set to be moved.

A report in the Telegraph says the deal has split the coalition government. Those in favour of the deal are hoping the UK can benefit from millions of pounds of business in India, while those against are eager to stick to the Tory pre-election commitment to bring down immigration.

More trade with India sounds a good idea. It has a fast growing population and will offer massive exporting opportunities for the UK. Well if India needs anything from the UK and other EU states that is.

Apparently the cabinet will start talking about it this week and the European Commission wants comments by the end of October.

A contact of mine said: “India has only one big request – greater access for its workers to work in the EU.

“So it all hinges on how much the EU will concede on that but the EU negotiators have said that they cannot concede much as it is determined by the national policy of individual states.”

Indian IT workers make up a massive proportion of immigrant workers in the UK. See the facts and figures in this blog post.

Seven out of ten of the top importers of IT workers to the UK are Indian companies.

I wonder how this would go down in countries such as Holland and Germany? IT workers have told me they have relocated to these countries because opportunities in the UK are dwindling as a result of immigration. See this blog post I did about it.

Who knows China could be next. Trade with India and China would be lucrative I am sure. But the IT profession in the UK will suffer.


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To a certain extent, the UK already offers most of what India wants except in the area of contractual service suppliers. As almost any employment can be wrapped up as a service and outsourced, this has huge implications for employment across Europe and the growth of onshore outsourcing.

Combined with the Blue Card visa scheme (which the UK opted out off) and greater mutual recognition of professional qualifications, the impact on so many areas could be massive.

What I can't understand is why British IT workers don't fight back. They really are an apathetic and cowardly bunch. There are times when THEY and not the government or corporate bosses are responsible for foreigners taking OUR jobs. The US has organisations like the Programmer's Guild but nothing similar exists in the UK. I have suggested the Solidarity trade union several times but nobody who works in IT has even heard of it, so won't consider joining. My attitude is use it or lose it. Are IT workers just going to sit by or are they going to take action?