He said it was in the UK’s “best interests” to limit migration and adopt an alternative visa or quota system for specific sectors.
He told Express.co.uk: “It’s vitally important that we think this through properly. Before, we had a very strange migration policy – it was unlimited in terms of EU workers and sort of discriminatory towards against those from outside the EU.
“The way we need to think about it is ‘what migration policy’s in the best interests of the country from its national perspective and that will limit the scale of migration?’
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I think economically, the UK will do well outside the European Union and part of that is having a sensible migration policy
“But it should not affect how the economy performs.”
Mr Lyons, who worked as Boris Johnson’s chief economic advisor while he was the Mayor of London, predicted those looking to fill “skilled” posts would be prioritised.
“Unskilled jobs are necessary in an economy as are skilled jobs, but when we adopt a migration policy it will be very much looking at this first and foremost – I would say from the skilled sector side,” he said.
“Maybe it will have to be a case of visas or a certain number of places that different sectors are allocating.”
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Gerard Lyons said controlling immigration would benefit the UK economy
Responding to former Chancellor George Osborne, who said the Government had prioritised immigration and had chosen “not to make the economy the priority”, he insisted Theresa May was the right leader to tackle the economy, migration and sovereignty.
“It’s quite clear from the approach the Prime Minister is taking that she is going to address all these issues.”
He added: “Being outside the single market is key to playing to our strengths, so too is being outside the customs union.”
The global financial markets expert insisted “low migration doesn’t mean no migration” and that the UK’s Brexit deal should be about “having a migration policy that’s in the best interests of the economy”.
Mr Lyon’s bashed the current level of EU migration for straining public services, pushing wages down and discouraging firms from investing in training.
He added: “I don’t take this premise of ‘migration versus the economy’ – it’s all part of a sensible balanced approach and naturally, the economy is important. I think economically, the UK will do well outside the European Union and part of that is having a sensible migration policy.”
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