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UK to end European priority on migration

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UK to end European priority on migration
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As UK politicians slug it out over Theresa May's Brexit plans and the threat of no deal, the Prime Minister visited border staff at Heathrow Airport.

The venue was carefully chosen as her government published proposals on how to cut immigration - one of the major issues influencing the "leave the EU" result in the 2016 referendum.

"We are all committed to what we said in the Conservative Party manifesto, which was that we were going to bring net migration down to sustainable levels,” she said. “And that means not the hundreds of thousands we've seen in recent decades, and that means tens of thousands."

In the policy paper the post Brexit approach to immigration the government says it will end special treatment for European Union nationals and prioritise skilled workers from where ever.

But with the threat of the UK crashing out of the EU Home Secretary Sajid Javid was keen to reassure EU nationals already in the UK.

“We have been very clear to the three million EU nationals already here we value hugely the contribution you have made to this country,” he said. “Deal or no deal, we want you to stay and we will protect your rights. The future system is about making sure immigration works in the best interests of the UK."

The policy document includes scrapping the current cap on the number of skilled workers such as doctors or engineers from the EU and elsewhere, but possibly a minimum salary requirement of £30,000 for skilled migrants. However temporary visitors from the EU will not be required to have visas.

The level of salary requirement has angered critics on both sides of the political divide.

Diane Abbott, Shadow Home Secretary said: "There is much concern that the minimum salary threshold will be at £30,000, which would actually rule out health care workers, social care workers, technicians, and would be very damaging both to the private and public sector."

Theresa May is pushing hard on the migration policy overhaul, believing that the emphasis on strict border controls will help persuade rebellious MPs in her own party to back her Brexit deal in January.