British PM Backs Plans For Tougher Migration Control After Brexit

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Speaking in the House of Commons, Prime Minister Theresa May said last year's Brexit vote had shown British people wanted "control" of immigration, in part because of the impact of cheap foreign labour on wages.

"Overall, immigration has been good for the United Kingdom but what people want to see is control of that immigration - that is what people want to see as a result of coming out of the European Union", May told parliament when asked by a lawmaker about benefits of immigration to the British economy.

But, at 246,000, the figure is far higher than the "tens of thousands" May has repeatedly stressed she believes is a sustainable level of migration. But crucially, it often hits those at the lower end of the income scale hardest.

The row is developing after proposals for a tough post-Brexit immigration system were leaked to The Guardian newspaper.

The data also revealed that Germans were largely positive about the idea of the United Kingdom changing its mind and reversing Brexit, with the most common responses being "relieved" (23%), "pleased" (22%) and "delighted" (15%).

None of the companies contacted by Sky News would comment, while a Downing Street spokesman declined to comment.

Mrs May said the error should not have happened and added that "every single one of those individuals was telephoned with an apology".

An 82-page document leaked from the British Home Office to The Guardian and it outlines Britain's immigration plans following Brexit.

Those in "high-skilled occupations" will be granted permits to work for a longer period of three to five years.

While the document contains concrete proposals, it is made clear it is a "platform for discussion" for the Government to understand the views of stakeholders, with the aim to achieve the best outcome for employers and individuals.

The document was leaked an hour after Brexit Secretary David Davis was laughed at in the Commons for saying no-one had claimed European Union negotiations would be "simple or easy". Ministers know that ending free movement will damage the British economy - yet they are ploughing ahead regardless.

Industry body the Food and Drink Federation (FDF) said that access to European workers is one of the sector's four key priorities in the Brexit negotiations, alongside global trade, regulatory stability and domestic support.

"It reads like a blueprint on how to strangle London's economy, which would be devastating not just for our city but for the whole country", he said.

The letter states that signatories welcome the Government's commitment to negotiating an interim period after the formal date of Brexit in 2019 to give firms time to adapt to the changing relationship with the EU.

Immigration, so central to the debate about Britain's place in the European Union over the past decades, has been the elephant in the room since the referendum.

Labour MP Yvette Cooper said she would be forcing the Home Affairs select committee, which she chairs, to question ministers over the paper as it suggested the government was not prepared to listen to independent advice. The document, obtained by The Guardian, suggests free movement will end upon exit in March 2019 and the United Kingdom will adopt a "more selective approach" based on the UK's economic and social needs. "There is obviously a balance to be struck, we don't want to shut the door, of course not", he said.