British Prime Minister Theresa May chairs a meeting of the cabinet at her retreat in Chequers, Buckinghamshire, on August 31, 2016.(AFP)
British Prime Minister Theresa May makes restricting immigration a top priority in Brexit negotiations with the European Union.
May held a cabinet meeting, the first since the summer break, to brainstorm on Brexit at her country residence inChequers, Buckinghamshire, on Wednesday.
The prime minister’s spokeswoman emphasized the UK’s opportunity for increased national sovereignty especially in controlling its borders.
“We are leaving the EU but not leaving Europe, with a decisive view that the model we are seeking is one unique to the United Kingdom and not an off-the-shelf solution,” the spokeswoman was quoted by the British media as saying. “This must mean controls on the numbers of people who come to Britain from Europe but also a positive outcome for those who wish to trade goods and services.”
May also confirmed that MPs will not be given a vote before the government triggers article 50 to pull out of Europe.  
Brexit talks at the top of the agenda during a meeting of the cabinet at the prime minister’s country retreat (AFP)
Britain has taken an uncompromising stance on the need to reduce EU immigration, but at the same time wants to ensure that British businesses can maintain strong ties in dealing with European neighbors.  
Shortly after May became prime minister, she vowed to get net migration down to the tens of thousands only as it currently stands at 333,000. May said during a parliament meeting once that “the vote that was taken in this country on June 23 sent a clear message that people want control of free movement from the European Union.”
The Leave campaign was strongly criticized for being marred by anti-immigration sentiment and has been associated with an increase in race hate crimes across the country.
 According to a report published by the UK's National Police Chief's Council (NPCC), over 3,000 hate crime incidents were reported to police across Britain between June 16 and 30, a 42-percent surge as compared to the same period in 2015.
In the June 23 referendum, about 52 percent of British voters opted to leave the EU, while roughly 48 percent of the people voted to stay in the union.