Brexit must mean better jobs for British workers, Minister says after plan to curb migration is leaked
Britain will not shut the door to European Union immigrants after Brexit but the Government wants people "with high skills" and better jobs for domestic workers, Sir Michael Fallon has said.
Leaked documents show-skilled EU migrants will only be allowed to work in the UK for two years before being sent home under Brexit plans to curb migration after 2019.
Ministers are also considering a “direct numerical cap” on low-skilled workers to fulfil the Government’s policy of getting net migration down to the tens of thousands.
The Defence Secretary insisted the Home Office document does not represent the Government's final position but appeared to back its overall strategy and stressed that voters want a reduction in immigration.
He told BBC Breakfast: "I can't set out the proposals yet, they have not yet been finalised, they are being worked on at the moment.
"There is obviously a balance to be struck, we don't want to shut the door, of course not.
Davis says "divorce bill" might not be agreed until end of talks "We have always welcomed to this country those who can make a contribution to our economy, to our society, people with high skills.
"On the other hand we want British companies to do more to train up British workers, to do more to improve skills of those who leave our colleges. So there's always a balance to be struck.
"We're not closing the door on all future immigration but it has to be managed properly and people do expect to see the numbers coming down."
The highly sensitive leak of Home Office proposals comes just days after the latest round of Brexit talks ended in acrimony, and is likely to enrage Brussels because it largely downgrades EU citizens to the same status as those from other countries.
It is the first time detailed Government plans for bringing down net migration have been disclosed, and was described as “excellent news” by Brexiteers, for whom controlling immigration was a key reason for leaving the EU.
The 82-page document, marked “draft official sensitive” and dated August 2017, reveals that skilled workers will be allowed to stay for 3-5 years before they have to return.