Business leaders call for ‘reasoned’ debate on UK immigration

10 Nov 2014 | Posted by Carl Thomas

Some of the UK’s top business leaders have added their voices to the debate on UK immigration and are calling on policy makers not to cap migration.

The influential captains of industry have sent an open letter to the Financial Times calling for a “reasoned and informed” debate on UK immigration and migration from other parts of the European Union.

The letter said that although the signatories understood people’s anxieties about the pressure that free movement of people within the UK may place on essential services, the facts showed that immigration had more advantages than disadvantages for the country.

The letter said: "The simple truth is that the facts do not support the argument of widespread benefit abuse, and the benefits of migration clearly outweigh the negatives, despite the understandable concerns.

"Immigrants coming to this country from other parts of the EU tend to be young, hardworking and educated."

It also pointed to the recent University College study that showed EU migrants pay more into the UK economy via taxes than they take in the form of benefits.

The business leaders said that introducing an immigration quota or cap on people from the EU would be “detrimental to Britain’s interests and could threaten our membership of the EU”.

They called on the Government to instead focus on important issues for the UK economy, such as the completion of the single market for services, energy and the internet.

“We need achievable, sensible reforms, which will not damage the economic prosperity of the UK,” said the letter.