THE UK’s poultrymeat sector will be “hardest hit” by plans to curb unskilled migration, according to the British Poultry Council (BPC).

The warning comes as the independent Migration Advisory Committee outlines its blueprint for how Britain’s immigration policy should be operated post-Brexit.

It suggests a point-based system only for “exceptional talent” and a salary threshold of £25,400 for other would-be immigrants with “firm job offers”.

It is lower than the current salary threshold of £30,000, but still more than the £17,000-£23,000 typically paid for full-time entry-level jobs in poultry production or processing.

The BPC says that 60% of the sector’s 22,800 people are EU nationals – and that it has more than 7,000 vacancies a year that it needs to fill.

It has warned that the introduction of a points-based system, which sets skill and salary thresholds for would-be immigrants, will push up the price of chicken.

“If Government wants to shape our future immigration policy in a way that improves people’s lives, then it must ensure that British food remains affordable and accessible for all,” the BPC’s Richard Griffiths said.

The MAC report in full