By Daniel Hunter

James Dyson has told the BBC that the country needs to keep hold of its engineers if the UK is to continue to compete in global exports.

Speaking to the Radio 4 Today programme, the chairman and founder of Dyson, said the best engineers are needed in the UK to produce the highest quality technology exports. That led him to call for immigration laws to be eased, allowing businesses access to the brightest talents.

His comments came as he announced a £1bn investment into research and development.

"Export is vital for Britain to create wealth," Mr Dyson said.

"In order to export you have to have high technology products that are better than those produced elsewhere in the world."

He called for more employment opportunities for people who come to the UK to study engineering.

"One important thing we should do is to keep those engineers in Britain. A lot of them come from overseas, in fact, 90% of researchers at British universities come from overseas, and we must encourage them to stay here."

"I would change our immigration laws to allow the right sort of people to stay here," he said.

But the Dyson boss also admitted that he would rather leave the EU than be "dominated and bullied by the Germans".

"I think it's a European Union dominated by Germany, and in our particular field we have these very large German companies who dominate standards setting and energy reduction committees, and so we get the old guard and old technology supported and not new technology.

"I want to keep EFTA - European free trade - and free movement of peoples, but I don't see that we need to be dominated and bullied by the Germans."

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