Britain will not shut the door to European Union immigrants after Brexit but the Government wants people "with high skills" and better jobs for domestic workers, a Cabinet minister has said.
Leaked proposals to force a post-Brexit cut in low-skilled migrants from Europe have ignited a political row on the eve of a Commons battle over EU withdrawal.
Sir Michael Fallon insisted the Home Office document does not represent the Government's final position but appeared to back its overall strategy and stressed that voters want a reduction in immigration.
The Defence Secretary told BBC Breakfast: "I can't set out the proposals yet, they have not yet been finalised, they are being worked on at the moment.
"There is obviously a balance to be struck, we don't want to shut the door, of course not.
"We have always welcomed to this country those who can make a contribution to our economy, to our society, people with high skills.
"On the other hand we want British companies to do more to train up British workers, to do more to improve skills of those who leave our colleges.
"So there's always a balance to be struck.
"We're not closing the door on all future immigration but it has to be managed properly and people do expect to see the numbers coming down."