Britain’s manufacturing organization EEF says Prime Minister David Cameron’s plans to curb migration from the EU could backfire by damaging business.
Terry Scuoler, the EEF’s chief executive, will officially give the warning during a speech later on Tuesday, as Cameron plans to curb migration from other EU countries to the UK by limiting the number of national insurance numbers available to immigrant workers, The Independent reported.
Scuoler will also call for an end to the “misinformation and paranoia” that is dominating the debate over the UK’s future in Europe.
The EEF chief will say, “For too long now the debate about our future in the EU has been hijacked, and some would say driven by, a powerful political vested interest, which is to extract Britain from the EU, without any recognition of what that rupture would cost. They must not be allowed to prevail.”
Scuoler will add that Britain has a “yawning skills gap,” which will widen over the next five to 10 years, therefore “we need and want employees from other European nations and indeed from other parts of the world – in this country, making a contribution, paying tax and supporting our economy.”
Katja Hall, deputy director general of the Confederation of British Industry, CBI, told British media on Monday that EU’s free movement of workers “boosts the attraction of investing in the UK, creates jobs and offers firms here real benefits in working with our biggest trading partners.”
Cameron has promised to cut net migration from hundreds to tens of thousands and vowed to hold an in-out vote on the country’s EU membership by 2017.