Sajid Javid and Philip Hammond 'in row with Number 10' over plans to rush through post-Brexit immigration shake-up

Posted On: 
25th November 2018

Two top Cabinet ministers have concerns about an immigration clampdown that Theresa May will use to try and sell her Brexit deal to the public, it has been reported.

The Home Secretary is said to have concerns about the timing of the plan.
Credit: 
The House

Chancellor Philip Hammond and Home Secretary Sajid Javid are said to have warned against rushing the proposals through Parliament in a bid to win support for Mrs May's EU agreement.

The Immigration White Paper - which will flesh out plans to sharply reduce the number of unskilled migrants coming to Britain from the EU - was originally due to be published next January.

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But the Mail on Sunday reports that there are moves to bring it forward to next week so that it can be unveiled before the crucial Commons vote on the Prime Minister's Brexit deal - despite not yet receiving full Cabinet sign-off.

Mr Hammond is said to have warned that sharply curbing immigration could clobber the house building sector.

An ally of Mr Javid meanwhile told the Mail on Sunday: "Sajid is much more open to immigration. For him, it is about control rather than a sweeping cut-off point."

Another Cabinet source warned: "This is not the sort of thing to use to try to swing a vote. It needs to be done properly."

Whitehall officials are said to be concerned that rushing the paper through could see mean "mistakes" as it will not be subject to the usual scrutiny process before coming before MPs.

The row came as Mrs May penned an emotional letter to the public urging them to get behind her Brexit deal, ahead of a crucial summit at which EU leaders are expected to rubber-stamp the agreement.

Concern about immigration is seen as one of the drivers behind the 2016 vote to leave the European Union, and the Prime Minister said the deal would allow the UK to "take back control of our borders, by putting an end to the free movement of people once and for all".

She wrote: "Instead of an immigration system based on where a person comes from, we will build one based on the skills and talents a person has to offer."