LEAKED Home Office documents show Britain plans to end free movement of labour the day after the UK leaves Europe in 2019.

An 82-page paper, marked as extremely sensitive and dated August 2017, leaked to The Guardian, details the Tory’s Britain first priorities for immigration after Brexit

The government plans are focussed entirely on reducing the number of EU migrants coming to the UK with the driving philosophy that “immigration should benefit not just the migrants themselves but also make existing residents better off”.

Low-skilled EU migrants will be offered residency for a maximum of only two years, in a move likely to devastate industries in Scotland reliant on foreign labour.

“High-skilled occupations” will be granted permits to work for a longer period of three to five years.

But in all cases, the paper says, firms must give “preference in the job market to resident workers.”

This raises the prospect of companies being forced to list how many foreign workers they employ.

EU nationals could even be required to seek permission before taking a job. 

"The government will take a view on the economic and social needs of the country as regards EU migration, rather than leaving this decision entirely to those wishing to come here and employers," the paper states.

It also describes a phased introduction to a new immigration system for after Brexit.

As well ending the right of EU migrants to settle here, it will make it harder for EU citizens already living the UK to bring their families into the country. 

Spouses will need to earn a minimum of £18,600 a year before being allowed in, bringing EU nationals in line with the restriction already imposed on other nationalities.

Showing a passport will be mandatory for all EU nationals wanting to enter Britain.”

And the file also suggests Europeans here for more than a few months may need a system of temporary biometric residence permits.

The paper has been passed around senior government ministers, and there are reports of splits in the Cabinet, though the BBC’s sources say it has not been signed off by the Prime Minister.

It effectively means pleas from he Scottish Government to allow Scotland to have a different immigration system, given the pressing need here in the food and drink industries, and the demographic timebomb, has been ignored.

The SNP’s Westminster leader Ian Blackford MP said the proposals were a “disgrace”.

“These policies as proposed by the Home Office will effectively break up family units,” he said. “It only exacerbates the uncertainty already experienced by EU citizens who have chosen to make the UK their home. This paper serves to placate the Brexiteers and to further destroy any shred of goodwill with our European partners during a crucial time of the exit negotiations.

“It’s a further example of the UK Government’s one-size-fits-all approach to immigration which fails to recognise that immigration is essential to the strength of our economy, as well as adds greatly to our cultural fabric. The registration of EU nationals will only increase the burden on a Home Office that can’t cope with the current system – as evidenced by the recent episode in which 100 deportation notices were mistakenly sent to EU nationals.”

He added: “Freedom of movement of labour is particularly important to Scotland, to help address skills gaps and deal with an ageing population. We propose a fair, robust and secure immigration system that meets Scotland’s social and economic needs.”

London’s mayor Sadiq Khan said the plan “read like a blueprint on how to strangle [the capital’s] economy”. In a statement he said: “The government’s plans for an extreme form of hard Brexit have been revealed tonight in a leaked Home Office document.

“It reads like a blueprint on how to strangle London’s economy, which would be devastating not just for our city but for the whole country. It risks thousands of families being split up.”

Nicola Sturgeon called the proposals wrong in principle, and damaging to the economy.

A government spokesperson said: “We do not comment on leaked draft documents. We will be setting out our initial proposals for a new immigration system which takes back control of the UK’s borders later in the autumn.”

The document was leaked an hour after Brexit Secretary David Davis was laughed at in the Commons for saying no-one had claimed EU negotiations would be “simple or easy”.

He told the MPs: “Last week we turned our considerations to the next round of talks, and in that my message to the [European] Commission was: let’s continue to work together constructively but put people above process.

“To that end, my team will publish further papers in the coming weeks, continuing to set out our ambitions for the negotiations and a new deep and special partnership the UK wants to build with the EU.

“Ultimately, businesses and citizens on both sides want us to move swiftly on to discussing the future partnership and we want that to happen after the European Council in October, if possible.

“As colleagues know, at the start of these negotiations both sides agreed that the aim was to make progress on four key areas – citizens’ rights, financial settlement, Northern Ireland and Ireland, and broader separation issues. We’ve been doing just that.”

As opposition MPs laughed, and jeered Davis added: “Nobody has ever pretended this would be simple or easy. I’ve always said the negotiations will be tough, complex and at times confrontational – so it has proved.”

At that point the laughter threatened to overwhelm Davis.

He soldiered on: “But we must not lose sight of our overarching aim – to build a deep and special new partnership with our closest neighbours and allies whilst also building a truly global Britain that can forge new relationships with the fastest-growing economies around the world.”

MPs will debate the EU (Withdrawal) Bill tomorrow, with votes on Monday. Labour have said they will whip their MPs to vote with the SNP and the LibDems against the Bill.

That means Theresa May will have to rely on the DUP if it is to pass.

A Labour spokeswoman said the party “fully respects the democratic decision to leave the European Union, voted to trigger Article 50 and backs a jobs-first Brexit with full, tariff-free access to the European single market”. But she added: “The Government’s EU Withdrawal Bill would allow Conservative ministers to set vital terms on a whim, including of Britain’s exit payment, without democratic scrutiny.”