Theresa May’s plans for a £3,000 cash bond to deter “high risk” Asian and African short-term visitors from overstaying in Britain are being hastily rewritten after Nick Clegg declined to sign off the details of a pilot scheme due to start in November.
The scheme was floated at the weekend by the home secretary and provoked an uproar in India and Nigeria, which were among the six countries named as possible targets, with threats that reciprocal action should be taken against British visitors. The other countries were Pakistan, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka and Ghana.
“The policy has not yet been signed off,” said a Liberal Democrat source. “We are in favour of the principle but the exact details of how it is to be piloted, including the size of the bond, is still being discussed in government.” Clegg has said he favours the introduction of a £1,000 cash bond to deter overstayers.