THE WELSH government said yesterday that it could be “severely disadvantaged” to EU immigration changes set out in a leaked Tory document.
First Minister Carwyn Jones said Welsh industry would be hurt by sector-based “recruitment” of migrants and said Wales would need its own quota if the rules were brought in.
The leaked Home Office draft suggested methods to reduce immigration by lower-skilled EU citizens by imposing severe residency restrictions.
A system linking migration “more closely” to employment would be preferable, Mr Jones said, where EU and European Economic Area citizens with a job offer or real prospects of finding work within six months could reside in Britain.
The demand has been formally set out in the Welsh government’s own Brexit paper, launched by Mr Jones yesterday. Migration is not devolved, so control rests with Westminster.
The Welsh paper also called for police to tackle businesses trying to use migrant labour to undercut wages and working conditions.
Mr Jones said that he hoped that a deal for full single market access could be reached if such an immigration scheme is put in place.
“We recognise many people have concerns about the extent and speed of migration and we want to see more control over this,” he said.
“That is why we are proposing a fair system which would ensure future migration to the UK is linked to employment, with those wishing to come to the UK required to have a job, or the ability to find one quickly.”