Low-skilled migration will fall when the UK ends EU free movement access after Brexit, Theresa May has promised.
The prime minister said high-skilled workers would be prioritised with no preferential treatment for people from the EU compared with those from the rest of the world.
But she said a future trade deal with the EU could include an agreement on “mobility” of each other’s workers.
Business groups expressed alarm about a crackdown on low-skilled workers.
The Confederation of British Industry said it would make a shortage of care, construction and hospitality workers worse, adding: “Restricting access to the workers the UK needs is self-defeating.”
The British Retail Consortium said the policy should be based on the economy’s needs rather an “arbitrarily” drawing a line based on salaries or skills.
And Labour said the government was making a “dubious distinction” between low and high-skilled workers – saying care workers were technically “low-skilled” but were “vital to our society”. Read more