Downing Street brutally slapped down Andrea Leadsom today after she claimed post-Brexit immigration rules were ‘subject to negotiations’ with the EU.
The Commons leader made the suggestion as she was grilled on whether the government had clear proposals for the UK’s border policies after leaving the bloc.
Asked if this was the Government’s position, Mrs May’s spokesman this afternoon replied bluntly: ‘No’.
In other developments on post-Brexit movement of people, the EU commission has released details of a new scheme that could apply to UK travellers once the country is outside the single market.
Speaking on the BBC’s Daily Politics, Andrea Leadsom insisted the immigration plans could only be ‘crystalised’ once the talks with Brussels were more advanced
Ms Leadsom insisted the plans could only be ‘crystalised’ once the talks with Brussels were more advanced.
‘The government has set out options. These have been discussed many times at Cabinet,’ she told the BBC’s Daily Politics.
‘What we don’t have is a conclusion of the negotiations. The government has its preferred options which are subject to the negotiations.’
But asked whether the post-Brexit immigration system was subject to the talks with Brussels, the Prime Minister’s spokesman said: ‘No.’
He added: ‘We are taking back control of our borders and we will be deciding who enters our border.’
Regaining control over immigration levels is seen as one of the main factors in the Brexit vote in 2016.
The government has proposed keeping visa-free travel with the EU after the Brexit transition ends.
But although tourists would be able to come unfettered, those who want to work, study, or settle would need to apply for permission.
Meanwhile, the EU commission has released details of a new scheme that could apply to UK travellers once the country is outside the single market.
Under the European Travel Information and Authorisation System (ETIAS), people entering the Schengen area would need to fill out an online form in advance.
They would also be liable to pay a €7 fee.
The commission suggested that whether Britons face the charge would be part of the Brexit negotiations.
David Davis and EU chief negotiator Michel Barnier (pictured) are trying to hammer out a Brexit deal