The Defence Secretary admitted that while it was the Tories “ambition” to get immigration numbers down the party did not have a formula of “how much it will reduce by each year”.
Speaking on BBC’s Newsnight, Sir Michael said: “We haven’t set out a formulation of how much it will reduce by each year, what we have set out is our ambition to continue to bear down on immigration.
“It’s an ambition, and we have had it in previous manifestos.”
Theresa May’s manifesto, which was released yesterday, retained the target first set out by David Cameron.
The policy document said the current figure of 273,000 people heading to Britain was “still too high” and promised to slash the number to ”sustainable levels”.
Challenged on how much the cost of cutting immigration would be, Sir Michael said: “There has been various academic work done on the cost of immigration.
“We have made it clear we accept there is a cost and we want to make sure that British companies do contribute to the training of British workers when they want to fill that post.”
He also conceded that “we have not costed (it) because we don’t know, specifically, what year we are going to reach that point of reducing to exactly tens of thousands”.
But he suggested that Brexit would make it easier, because of the end to freedom of movement.
The Defence Secretary added: ”It is an aim and we intend to continue to aim to reduce the level of immigration, as we have set out.”
According to the Conservative manifesto, the party has promised to create an immigration policy which will allow the country to “attract the skilled workers our economy needs” while reducing and controlling the number who come to Britain from the EU.
Carolyn Fairbairn, director general of the Confederation of British Industry, has criticised the Tory’s immigration policy and claims it is “Achilles heel” of its manifesto.
She said: ”In a global race for talent and innovation, UK firms risk being left in the starting blocks because of a blunt approach to immigration.”
Sir Michael’s comments comes after Jeremy Corbyn dodged a question on Labour’s target immigration number earlier this week.