Sajid Javid said that he will “define an immigration system without being constrained by the EU” in his speech at the Conservative Party conference on Tuesday.
“This is an incredible opportunity,” he said.
“And it falls to us to ensure that these rules are not just a technocratic exercise, but that they are an expression of our values – our British values.”
He said that the existing "Life in the UK" test for new citizens was not enough.
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"Citizenship should mean more than being able to win a pub quiz,” he told delegates.
"We need to make it a British values test - and that's exactly what I will bring in."
Javid also outlined proposals to deal with forced marriage, including refusing spousal entry to the UK where there is evidence of it occurring.
He said: "We will consult on making it a mandatory duty for professionals to report forced marriage whenever they come across it.
"And when women have the courage to come forward and inform us that they have been forced to sponsor a spousal visa against their will, we will not only protect their anonymity but we will do everything we can to deny or revoke that visa."
'Legitimite concerns about immigration'
People having concerns about immigration did not make them “hostile individuals”, he added.
“We shouldn’t brush aside the legitimate concerns that many people – most people - have had about the way immigration has been managed, especially the anxieties of those on low pay or in low skilled jobs,” he said, and criticised the last Labour government’s immigration policies.
“The irresponsible way Labour increased immigration, without any real mandate, has understandably undermined the public’s trust.
They lost faith that politicians will manage immigration sustainably.
“But that doesn’t mean they are hostile to individuals.”
Javid also called the Windrush scandal “a public policy failure many years in the making”.
“These were people who rightfully settled here from the Commonwealth decades ago and became pillars of our communities,” he said.
“The way the system had been treating them – over many years - deeply offended our sense of fairness.
“So we are doing everything to put it right.”
In an interview on the BBC Andrew Marr show on Sunday, Theresa May apologised for the Windrush scandal, but not for the ‘hostile environment’ immigration policy in general.
Immigration minister Caroline Nokes repeatedly refused to answer when talkRADIO asked her if she thought the Prime Minister was right not to apologise - watch above.