A SENIOR Labour shadow cabinet member has moved to quash claims the party would retain freedom of movement after Brexit

Emily Thornberry, the shadow foreign secretary, said a Labour government would have “fair rules and managed migration” for EU citizens. 

It comes after Michael Gove claimed both Labour and the SNP are committed “to a policy of unlimited and uncontrolled immigration”, which he insisted would place “massive pressure” on public services.

Jeremy Corbyn is expected to travel to Scotland today ahead of election events in the Central Belt later this week.

The Tories have repeatedly accused Labour of seeking a deal with the SNP in the event Mr Corbyn fails to secure a majority – something senior Labour figures have denied.

Writing in The Times, Mr Gove said: “Labour is now explicitly in favour of unlimited and uncontrolled immigration. And Nicola Sturgeon is their staunchest ally.

“The Corbyn-Sturgeon policy is extreme, dangerous and out of touch with the British people

“It would mean massive pressure on public services – creating a shortage of school places, putting a huge strain on the NHS and increasing demand
for housing. 

“It would also mean Britons are less safe, as a Corbyn-Sturgeon alliance wouldn’t put in place the controls necessary to stop criminals crossing
our borders.”

Over the weekend, Labour’s shadow communities secretary Andrew Gwynne refused to rule out retaining free movement.

Labour is expected to decide its manifesto policies at a summit on Saturday.

In September, members passed a motion at the party’s conference seeking to “maintain and extend free movement rights” for EU citizens.

But Ms Thornberry told BBC Radio 5 Live: “If we leave the European Union then what we want to have is fair rules and managed migration. 

“But those people who were here already, we will guarantee that they will be allowed to stay.”

Asked about the conference motion, she said: “We’ll need to wait and see what comes out of the manifesto, but I can certainly say that the thinking within the Labour party is that if we’re going to leave the European Union we will have fair rules and managed migration.

“We heard people when they said one of the reasons that they voted for Brexit was because of unrestricted levels of immigration.”

Labour wants to negotiate a new Brexit deal, which would include staying in the customs union and remaining close to the single market, before putting this back to the public in a referendum against an option to remain in the EU. 

Ms Thornberry said: “The deal that we want to negotiate is one where we remain in the customs union and we can be as close to the single market as we’re able to be in order to maximise the opportunities for jobs and the economy.

“Clearly, if we were in the single market then we would need to abide by all of the rules, which would include freedom of movement. It is one of these things which is open to negotiation.

“What we need to be doing is we need to be negotiating something whereby we leave the European Union with the best deal that we can, so that we can put that back to the people.”

The SNP has repeatedly called for immigration powers to be devolved, citing Scotland’s unique demographic challenges. 

Last week, Ms Sturgeon listed further devolution among her key demands if the SNP helps a minority Labour government into power.

Elsewhere, Scottish Labour leader Richard Leonard said his party would push for a new “minimum student income” of around £9,500 a year – based on a £10 an hour income for 25 hours of study time each week.

He said the plan would be funded from the extra £3 billion the Scottish Government would receive annually as a result of UK-wide investment under Labour. However, as the issue is devolved, it would require the SNP Government to agree to it.