The government is to abandon a controversial plan to impose £3,000 immigration bonds on visitors from “high-risk” countries in Africa and Asia after Nick Clegg threatened to block the policy.
The move will be seen by Labour as a humiliating U-turn for Theresa May, the home secretary. It came after David Cameron backed off from a full-scale confrontation with the Liberal Democrat leader, who was blocking the scheme’s progress through cabinet.
A pilot project to target visitors from seven countries — including India, Pakistan and Nigeria — who would have had to pay a cash guarantee or deposit to deter immigration abuse was to have been introduced this month.
The plan was to make visitors forfeit £3,000 if they failed to return home by the time their visas had expired. But in an announcement this weekend the government said it was cancelling the plans.