Home / World / Europe

Britain considers tough curbs on EU migration

Updated: 2017-09-06 19:03

LONDON - Britain is considering measures to restrict immigration for all but the highest-skilled EU workers, a leaked government document said, plans some companies called alarming and an opposition lawmaker described as "plainly cruel".

Large flows of migrants from the European Union were one of the reasons some Britons said they voted to leave the bloc in a referendum last year, with one of the Brexit campaign's main slogans saying Britain should "take back control".

But companies, especially those in the catering, social care and retail industries which depend on the steady stream of workers from abroad, say they fear a restrictive immigration policy after Britain leaves the EU will leave them unable to hire the staff they need.

In the document, leaked to the Guardian newspaper and marked 'draft - official sensitive', the interior ministry said Britain was changing its focus to make sure, where possible, British companies take on British workers rather than migrants.

"Put plainly, this means that, to be considered valuable to the country as a whole, immigration should benefit not just the migrants themselves but also make existing residents better off," the document said.

A government spokesman said the government did not comment on leaked draft documents. "We will be setting out our initial proposals for a new immigration system which takes back control of the UK's borders later in the Autumn," he said.

The government has also said it would listen to the results of a year-long study it commissioned in July from the Migration Advisory Committee to look at the impact of migration and how best to control it after Brexit.


Most Viewed in 24 Hours