10 January 2014
Top EU official, Viviane Reding has said that the ‘invasion of foreigners’ is a populist myth and that David Cameron is lying to British voters in order to distract UK citizens from the country’s real problems ahead of the 2015 general election.
The vice-president of the European commission said in a webchat: “The fact and figures, and we all know this, show it is simply not true and I do believe also that the British industry has made it very clear, putting the figures on the table and showing that the GDP of Britain rose by 3-4% because of the input of these working Europeans who come to Great Britain.
“I am mostly frustrated about the political leaders because what is leadership if you just try with populistic movements and populistic speech to gain votes?”
The top Brussels official went on to say that the British government is “destroying the future” of the UK and its people.
“That is what I’m really worried about.” she said, “That is why I ask help from all the reasonable forces in Great Britain in order calmly to explain what Europe is about and what Europe can do and what Europe can’t do, what Europe does and what Europe does not do because most of the things which are told to the people in Great Britain are myths, have nothing to do with reality.”
The IER has recently published a book on the issue of migration entitled, Labour migration in hard times: Reforming labour market regulation? The book explores in some detail the very myths expressed by Viviane Reding, including the populist myth about the invasion of foreigners.
As the editor of the book, Bernard Ryan concludes:
“Skilled migration is likely to remain attractive both to employers and to a state interested in limiting education and training expenditure. Lower-skilled migration is likely to continue while the UK remains a member of the European Union and while employers are able to exploit migrant workers who they see as high on effort, usually unorganised and relatively quiescent.”
The report highlights that the number of migrant workers is not the issue – they provide valuable skills to the economy. It is the lack of effective and enforced regulations that is the problem, leaving migrant workers vulnerable and exploited, with little respect for their working and human rights.