Downing St has distanced itself from a £1,000 charge on EU recruitment

 
Mark Sands
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Immigration minister Robert Goodwill revealed the proposal earlier today (Source: Getty)

A £1,000 levy on firms recruiting European nationals is not under consideration, Downing Street has insisted.

A spokeswoman for Theresa May said the idea was “not on the agenda” just hours after a junior minister Robert Goodwill raised the prospects of firms paying the charge.

Robert Goodwill told a House of Lords committee the Immigration Skills Levy, which comes into force for non-EU nationals from April, could be extended to cover Europe.

“That may be something that’s been suggested to us that could apply to EU,” Goodwill said.

The non-EU charge has proved unpopular with businesses already and, Goodwill’s comments were met with an angry response.

CBI deputy director general Josh Hardie said the proposal: “would neither meet the needs of our economy nor be appropriate.”

A Home Office spokeswoman stated: “As the Minister said, there are a whole range of options we could consider to control immigration once we leave the EU.

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