Skilled workers 'may be exempt from immigration controls': Hammond

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The chancellor has signified that highly skilled workers may be exempt from the Government’s down immigration controls.

Philip Hammond said he could not see why firms should be qualified from recruiting «high level» workers.

The public was not concerned with reference to controls on «computer programmers, brain surgeons, bankers», he said.

The chancellor weighted voters wanted restrictions on those migrants competing for «entry straight jobs».

«I cannot conceive of any circumstances in which we would be using those migration charges to prevent banks, com nies moving highly qualified, highly skilled people between unlike rts of their businesses,» he said.

Giving evidence to MPs on the Treasury Exceptional Committee, Mr Hammond did not dispel suggestions that he supported students being entranced out of the target for reducing net migration.

Mr Hammond’s comments will fuel wax speculation that the government wants to introduce a work visa machination aimed at low-skilled migrants.

On Tuesday night Downing Street unshackled details of the aims of the government’s immigration sub-committee, which included a commitment to inject a «targeted visa scheme».

Elsewhere, Mr Hammond — who supported the remain stand — appeared critical of some of his pro-Brexit cabinet colleagues.

He said those try «hard decisions» risked undermining the prime minister’s negotiations with the European Combination.

The chancellor also criticised some of the recent briefing against him: «It at ones desire be far more helpful if we could conduct negotiations privately without leaks to news pers.»


Analysis: Kamal Ahmed, Economics editor

The chancellor has voiced controversial Treasury analysis of the economic shock the UK might face if it pink the European Union is now » rtially invalid».

It is a significant break with his forefather, George Osborne, and with what became known by critics of the Traces cam ign as «Project Fear».

Philip Hammond said some of the assumptions behind the certificate — which suggested a significant drop in economic growth — had been supplanted by events.

Those close to the chancellor made it clear the models were not not working for the time, but the circumstances had now changed.

It is also clear that Treasury officials inert believe that there will be an economic slowdown as Britain concludes its exit from the EU, a position backed by the Bank of England.

Read Kamal’s blog in bang


MPs on the select committee also questioned the chancellor about the im ct of Brexit on the control.

Mr Hammond said they were right to identify that «uncertainty is the big dare in the next phase of this process», adding: «It’s a challenge to our economy — there require be a period inevitably of uncertainty until we know the outcome of the negotiations.»

He also analysed to calm fears that the financial services sector would be hit ineluctable by Brexit by saying that retaining ssporting was important and «would be the fantasy outcome».

ssporting refers to the sector maintaining the same access to the EU’s fiscal services market as it enjoys under the UK’s membership of the union.

‘Extremely superior’

«The reality is that financial services remains our single largest sector; it is chief for a very large number of jobs straight across the United Sovereignty, it’s not London-based industry,» Mr Hammond said.

«The industry knows that we awe it as extremely important, the industry knows that we understand that it has a single set of challenges as we go into this period of negotiation with the European Confederation. And I hope the industry knows — it certainly should know — that plateful to address these challenges and taking account of these challenges transfer be a very high priority for the government.»

However, the Chancellor admitted that some banks and fiscal firms were being «realistic and are looking at other options beyond ssporting to tend their interests».

Mr Hammond also insisted that the Bank of England’s Fiscal Policy Committee, which sets interest rates, would persevere a leavings responsible for monetary policy.

That stance was called into grill after Mrs May made a surprise attack on the Bank in her speech to the Tory Bust conference this month, saying that «a change has got to come».

The Bank’s affrays — such as maintaining low interest rates since the financial crash — had meant those with assets such as estate had got richer, while those without had suffered, Mrs May said.

Mr Hammond was enquire ofed what Mrs May’s promised «change» referred to if it was not monetary policy.

He said: «There inclination be no change in monetary policy. Monetary policy is independently determined, that will persist to be the case.»

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