James Murdoch, son of media mogul Rupert Murdoch and chief of 21st Century Fox, has reportedly urged the UK government to avoid a post-Brexit immigration crackdown on Thursday (2 March).

The top TV executive, 44, said his industry needed a "real diversity of voices" as he addressed a media and telecoms conference hosted by Deloitte in London, newswire MLex reported.

"What we don't want to see is [the government] making it harder to have people come and...work," Murdoch said.

He added: "That is the one piece of it that I probably fret about the most, this thing about how can we move people around, how can we attract people from all over the world to come to a place."

"That's because it's uncertain, we don't know, I don't know how this process goes over the next two years."

The comments are notable since News UK's most popular title, The Sun, backed a Brexit ahead of the EU referendum in June. Murdoch resigned as executive chairman of News International, News UK's predecessor, in 2012 to focus on the TV side of Murdoch media empire.

He repeatedly stressed that he was unaware of phone-hacking at the News of the World, the Sunday tabloid owned by News International which was shut in 2011 in reaction to the scandal.

Murdoch's intervention comes just weeks before Theresa May plans to invoke Article 50 of the Lisbon Treaty and trigger Brexit talks.

The prime minister said she will not seek to maintain the UK's membership of the EU's single-market in a bid to introduce immigration curbs, outlawed under the EU's free movement of people rules.

The issue dominated the EU referendum campaign, with the Vote Leave group, backed by Boris Johnson, endorsing an Australian-style visa system.

The Conservatives have repeatedly promised to reduce net migration to the UK to "tens of thousands". The latest Office for National Statistics (ONS) showed that net migration hit 273,000 in the year to September 2016, down by 49,000 compared to the year before.

May's 12-point Brexit plan

  1. Government will provide certainty and clarity to politicians and businesses.
  2. UK will 'control our own laws' by quitting the European Court of Justice.
  3. May will strengthen the 'precious union' between England, Wales, Northern Ireland and Scotland.
  4. There will be no hard border between Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland.
  5. UK will 'control' EU immigration, while recruiting the 'brightest and the best' from around the world.
  6. Government will seek a reciprocal residency rights deal for EU and UK workers 'as soon as possible'.
  7. May has promised to protect workers' rights.
  8. Ministers will seek a 'bold' and 'comprehensive' free-trade agreement with the EU.
  9. UK will seek a customs agreement so that it can broker its own trade deals with non-EU nations.
  10. May will keep European science and innovation ties in bid to keep the UK a 'world leader'.
  11. UK will continue to work with the EU in bid a bid to combat the threat of terrorism.
  12. Ministers will seek to avoid a 'cliff edge' and seek a smooth split from the EU.