New proposals for restriction on low-skilled migrants after Brexit leaked

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New proposals for restrictions on the number of low-skilled migrants from Europe allowed into the UK after Brexit have been revealed in a leaked Home Office document.

The 82-page paper suggests that new arrangements would be immediately introduced when the UK leaves the EU at the end of the two-year transition period.

It is understood the document is a draft of an upcoming White Paper that has been circulated among senior officials but that has not yet been agreed by ministers.

The paper, which was obtained by The Guardian, is marked up with a stamp that reads “Draft – Official Sensitive” and is described as “a platform for discussion”.

According to the draft paper, departure from the EU will mean “the end of rights-based, unconditional free movement”, with the Government adopting powers to take “a more selective approach” to which migrants will be allowed to work and settle in the UK.

“The Government will take a view on the economic and social needs of the country as regards EU migration, rather than leaving this decision entirely to those wishing to come here and employers,” it states.

This could involve requiring EU nationals to seek permission before taking up a job, making employers recruit locally first or restrict access to lower-skilled occupations which are not experiencing staffing shortages, the document suggests.

The Guardian quoted the document as saying: “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 newspaper said the Home Office document, which is entitled Border, Immigration and Citizenship System After the UK Leaves the European Union, are subject to “negotiations with EU.”

It added that it is understood the paper has in its early stages already provoked rows between cabinet ministers.

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