By Daniel Hunter

The leader of Britain’s manufacturers has warned of the consequences of an increasingly emotional, unpleasant and factually inaccurate debate on migration, which is clouding what should be a real debate on the positive benefits to the UK economy of migration.

Terry Scuoler, CEO of EEF, the manufacturers’ organisation, told a gathering of senior industrialists and EU officials in London today:

“There are important principles which we must seek to uphold amid an increasingly frenzied and sometimes overly emotional — not to mention factually inaccurate - debate on immigration in the UK.

“Freedom of movement is of enormous benefit to this country and the EU and most businesses do not want Government tinkering with this principle. You cannot have a single market with restrictions for some and not others. I agree with the OECD’s assessment which supports the view that net inward migration has had a positive fiscal impact for the UK economy.

“That does not in any way prevent the UK from having effective border controls or changing the rules around in and out-of-work benefits, something which I suspect would find favour in other European capitals. The issue has to be about achieving proportionate and fair rules for all. We need to lift the debate on immigration a few levels as the rhetoric is increasingly unpleasant.

“I hope the Prime Minister will avoid pandering to the anti EU lobby on this and focus on the benefits of freedom of movement.”

You can tweet your reactions to @freshbusiness or email

Join us on
Follow @freshbusiness