LONDON, Jan. 12 (Xinhua) -- Britain's Minister of State for Immigration Robert Goodwill on Wednesday proposed a levy of a 1,000 pounds (about 1,220 U.S. dollars) a year on skilled workers in the European Union employed by British companies after Brexit.
Goodwill said at a House of Lords committee that "immigration skills levy" could be introduced for EU migrants and would "be helpful to British workers who feel they are overlooked" in favor of migrants, according to the Guardian.
The idea sparked fury among employers and provoked an immediate business backlash.
British Prime Minister Theresa May's spokesman said it was "not on the agenda," and explained that Goodwill meant the "skills levy" for non-EU migrants which will enter into force in April.
However, Downing Street did not rule out the idea of any levy on EU skilled workers after Brexit. The spokesman said the British government is clear that "there are a whole range of issues we will need to look at in the negotiation."
According to local media, Goodwill's remarks suggested that the levy would pave the way for meeting the British government's commitment to training more than 3 million more apprentices before 2020.