THE UK's post-Brexit immigration system would crack down on low-paid European Union migrants - potentially capping their numbers - and strip European citizens of rights to bring family members to Britain, a leaked government paper suggests.
The Home Office documents set out how the government would get the power to refuse EU citizens entry and the right to work, and demand a minimum income level of anyone wishing to stay in the UK.
Employers could also be forced to recruit Britons to certain jobs and access would be denied to immigrants wanting to work in some low-skilled sectors, the document suggests.
Leaked to The Guardian, the paper says: "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 paper is not a reflection of the final system being adopted by the government but it confirms details of proposals set out by Prime Minister Theresa May earlier this year - such as ending free movement on Brexit day.
It also sets out how breaking from the jurisdiction of EU law would allow the UK to curtail rights afforded to Europeans.
The document suggests that in the future only EU workers with a high level of skills would be given permission to stay in the UK longer than three years.
The plan sets out possible options for restricting access to low-skilled workers, including one option to implement a "direct numerical cap on numbers”.
The document suggests the government is also of a mind to introduce an income threshold for some EU citizens before they are allowed to stay.
The document goes on to suggest there should be tough new restrictions on the rights of EU migrants to bring families to the UK, ditching rules that give European citizens rights to bring relatives in without Home Office permission.
The guiding ambition set out in the paper is to lower net annual migration, which Ms May has pledged to get below 100,000.- INM