20 October 2016
Skilled workers ‘may be exempt’ from migration controls
Companies should be able to hire "high level" workers and they may be exempt from the Government's immigration plans, Philip Hammond has indicated.
The Chancellor has moved to allay concerns that Brexit may prevent companies recruiting highly-skilled foreign staff.
Addressing the House of Commons Treasury Committee, he said people who voted in the EU referendum for immigration restrictions will be more concerned about "entry level jobs" and not worried about "computer programmers, brain surgeons, bankers".
While regaining controls over the migration between the UK and EU is an essential part of Brexit, Mr Hammond said: "I cannot conceive of any circumstance in which we would be using those controls to prevent banks (and) companies moving highly-qualified, highly-skilled people between different parts of their businesses.
"That is essential for the smooth operation of our economy."
His comments appear to support the suggestion that the Government is looking to introduce an employment visa scheme geared towards low-skilled foreign workers.
A Government immigration sub-committee has been tasked with introducing a "targeted visa scheme".
The Chancellor also slammed those seeking a specific form of Brexit, accusing them of undermining Britain's chances of negotiating a successful withdrawal from the European Union.