The government could be considering a targeted work visa scheme aimed at low-skilled migrants in the wake of the UK's referendum decision earlier this year to leave the European Union, according to reports.
Giving evidence to MPs on the Treasury Select Committee, chancellor Philip Hammond said that highly skilled workers may be exempt from planned immigration controls.
The public was not concerned about controls on "computer programmers, brain surgeons, bankers," Hammond said.
"I cannot conceive of any circumstances in which we would be using those migration controls to prevent banks, companies moving highly qualified, highly skilled people between different parts of their businesses," he said.
His comments came after Downing Street released details of the aims of the government's immigration sub-committee on Tuesday, which included a commitment to introduce a "targeted visa scheme".
So far it has been difficult to establish what the government's plans are in relation to the rights of foreign workers following Brexit. arlier this month there was confusion after contradictory statements from ministers.
Speaking at the Conservative Party conference at the start of this month, home secretary Amber Rudd said that hospitality businesses could effectively be named and ‘shamed' for prioritising foreign workers over nationals, under new plans to require companies to reveal the number of foreign staff they employ.
But the plans have since been watered down, with ministers claiming that numbers would still be compiled, though not published.
The rights of foreign workers is set to be a key bargaining chip in Brexit negotiations, with international trade secretary Liam Fox saying EU nationals living in the UK were "one of our main cards".
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