Cabinet minister Chris Grayling said young people would find it harder to get on the housing ladder if we stay in the EU after the referendum
In other developments as the referendum battle gathers pace with just over three weeks to go:
Former Treasury minister Andrea Leadsom warned in the Daily Mail that George Osborne’s national living wage is a ‘huge draw’ for migrants that is fuelling ‘uncontrolled immigration’ from within the EU;
Two polls suggested the Leave campaign has moved ahead of the Remain side;
Ministers faced criticism for axing a deal for spy planes to help spot illegal immigrants after it emerged that a new fleet of border patrol vessels will not be fully in place until 2018;
Mr Johnson, Mr Gove and Ms Patel directly attacked David Cameron's dismal record on the immigration issue, saying his long-standing promise to bring numbers below 100,000 is impossible to keep without ditching Brussels rules on free movement.
Under the proposal, by 2020 migrants would only be allowed to settle if they have skills needed by the economy.
EU nationals would be banned unless they have a firm job lined up.
'If we implement these principles, for the first time in a generation it will be possible for politicians to keep their promises on immigration,' Mr Johnson, Mr Gove and Ms Patel said.
Mr Grayling appealed for young people to consider their prospects of getting on the housing ladder in an interview with the Guardian.
'It is already tough to buy a house,' leader of the House of Commons said.
'But if we are bringing a population the size of Newcastle upon Tyne into the country every single year, if we cannot set limits on the number of people that come and work in Britain, then simple maths says it is going to be even more difficult to get on to the housing ladder.
'So to everyone who is of the younger generation, who is thinking how they are going to vote, my message is think about your goal of getting onto and working up the housing ladder?
'How do you think it will possibly be easier if we have no power in this country even to slow the flow of people coming here?'
Mr Grayling, one of the highest profile Brexit campaigners, said the pressure on housing was driven by an ageing population and migration into the UK.
'If you keep doing that, it must mean you have relatively fewer houses,' he said, adding that the 'more people chasing not only properties to buy but properties to rent, the more difficult it gets, the higher rents get'.
Mr Grayling dismissed claims that young people would lose access to cheap EU travel or their InterRail card.
'Of course you are not going to lose the InterRail card, the InterRail card goes to Russia, which is not part of the European Union,' he said.
Former London mayor Boris Johnson, seen on the referendum campaign trail, has said we could introduce a skills-based immigration system after Brexit
However, Remain campaigners hit back by insisting that Mr Grayling's claims on house prices did not stand up to 'cursory scrutiny'.
Leaving Europe would hit young people the hardest by wrecking the economy and job opportunities.
Will Straw, Executive Director of Britain Stronger in Europe, said: 'Vote Leave know they have lost the argument on the economy, which is why they have reached for the Farage playbook and are seeking to blame immigrants for everything.
'It is more fantasy economics from Vote Leave - wrecking our economy and causing a recession will hurt first time buyers as it make it riskier for banks to lend and tightens credit conditions.
'People have legitimate concerns about immigration but these are not going to be answered by wrecking our economy – risking job losses and higher prices.'
Boris and Gove promise immigration revolution after Brexit
Brexit would pave the way for an immigration revolution to slash numbers arriving from the EU, leading Out campaigners pledge today.
Boris Johnson, Michael Gove and Priti Patel say they will insist on a tough Australian-style points system to finally meet the Tory pledge to cut net immigration to below 100,000.
In a statement they attack David Cameron’s dismal record on the issue, warning that Britain’s EU membership means we ‘don’t have control’ over who comes here.
Instead, they promise that if the country votes Leave on June 23, they will push for a points-based immigration scheme by 2020.
Michael Gove (left) and Boris Johnson (right) have attacked David Cameron's record on immigration and pledged to create a Australian-style points system if the UK votes for Brexit
Migrants could settle here only if they have skills needed by the economy. It would mean a ban on jobless arrivals from the EU – something originally promised by the Prime Minister, but thwarted by Brussels.
‘If we implement these principles, for the first time in a generation it will be possible for politicians to keep their promises on immigration,’ the statement says.
The Out campaigners’ statement today says: ‘The automatic right of all EU citizens to come and live and work in the UK will end, as will EU control over vital aspects of our social security system.’
They add: ‘Those seeking entry for work or study should be admitted on the basis of their skills without discrimination on the ground of nationality … economic migrants will have to be suitable for the job in question. For relevant jobs, we will be able to ensure that all those who come have the ability to speak good English.
‘Such a system can be much less bureaucratic and much simpler than the existing system for non-EU citizens.’
The initiative is the clearest sign yet that Mr Johnson, Mr Gove and Miss Patel are drawing up an alternative programme for government in the event of a Leave vote – suggesting they believe Mr Cameron would have to accept their agenda if he continued as PM.
A source close to the three senior Tories last night said the aim of the new system would be to cut net migration from 333,000 a year ‘to the tens of thousands’.
Immigration has dominated the referendum debate since last week, when official figures confirmed Mr Cameron has no chance of hitting his target to reduce numbers below 100,000 while in the EU.
The Office for National Statistics figures showed the number of EU migrants coming to Britain under freedom of movement rules hit 270,000 last year. They included a record 77,000 who came without a job offer, despite a pledge by the Prime Minister to outlaw the practice.
Net EU migration – taking into account the number of EU citizens who left the UK – stood at 184,000. Overall net migration, including arrivals from outside the EU, was 333,000 in the year to December – the second highest figure on record.
At present, Britain is powerless to stop EU migrants travelling here to work, except when they are deemed a threat.
Employment minister Priti Patel (left) and senior Labour MP Gisela Stuart (right) also say the UK cannot cope with net immigration from the EU and have backed Mr Gove and Mr Johnson's campaign