Theresa May has claimed Labour wants to introduce a system of “uncontrolled migration” after the party’s secret plan to allow thousands of unskilled workers to enter the UK after Brexit was leaked.
The Prime Minister today promised to deliver “proper control of our immigration” and to introduce restrictions on people coming to Britain from the European Union.
It comes after a document was leaked to The Telegraph which showed Labour is considering bringing back a scrapped visa scheme that allows unskilled migrants to move to the UK despite concerns that they stop British workers from winning seasonal jobs on farms and in factories.
Labour’s policy paper sets out plans for a green card scheme and admits the party does not consider cutting net migration a priority.
The party’s position is likely to be of great concern to its MP candidates in the north of England where control of immigration was a key concern during the EU referendum campaign.
Mrs May said on Wednesday that there is a “very clear choice” on the issue of immigration on June 8.
She said: “What we need to do is have proper control of our immigration and, of course, we are going to be able to put in rules for people coming from the EU to the UK once we leave the European Union.
“There’s a very clear choice at this election, there’s a very clear difference between myself and Jeremy Corbyn and the Labour Party.
“I want to ensure we are controlling migration because too high uncontrolled migration puts pressure on our public services but it also lowers wages at the lower end of the income scale.
“I want to ensure we control migration. Jeremy Corbyn and the Labour Party want uncontrolled migration.”
A Labour spokesman said the leaked document was a discussion paper “not a statement of Labour policy” and that “free movement of labour will come to an end” post-Brexit.
Mr Corbyn was asked about Labour’s immigration policy at a campaign event on Wednesday.
He said that the party would introduce a border control system “based on needs of the economy” and family reunion.
The Labour leader also said he is “not going to make false promises” on immigration numbers.
The leaked policy document details plans to bring back the tier-three entry route created by a Labour government and scrapped by David Cameron in 2013.
That scheme was designed to encourage low-skilled workers to fill jobs in factories and farms, but was never needed because of high migration from countries such as Poland and Romania.
The leaked paper states: “We envisage a requirement to make continued use of the current five-tiered tiered visa system, including the currently unused tier applicable to those seeking lowskilled, unskilled or seasonal work.”