Lord Bilimoria of Chelsea, the founder of the Cobra Beer company, has told a conference that the UK Independence Party (UKIP) is guilty of 'scaremongering' and 'misleading rhetoric' on immigration.
Bilimoria, who is himself an immigrant born in India, was speaking to the online newspaper The Huffington Post after appearing at the State of Small Business Britain conference, organised by the Enterprise Research Centre.
The peer said 'I think that this country would not be where it is without all the benefits of immigration taking place over the decade'. He added that the UK was 'one of the top 10 economies and at the top table of the world, mainly because of the input of immigrants and the religious and ethnic minority community'.
Free movement of workersUKIP is a right-wing, anti-European Union, anti-immigration party which says that the UK should leave the EU so that it can limit immigration.
It says that the UK cannot control immigration as a member of the EU because free movement of workers is enshrined in EU law. Therefore all EU citizens, over 500m people, have the right to work in the UK.
Therefore, UKIP says, UK workers are losing their jobs to workers from the poorer countries of eastern and southern Europe who are prepared to work for less.
Migrants a great assetLord Bilimoria said that EU immigrants were a great asset to the UK's economy. He said 'They're young, they work hard, they pay their taxes, they do not use the NHS as much and they do, on the whole, use the benefits system less. Of course you've got to clamp down on the people who abuse our benefit system, but they're in the minority'.
He added 'How people can take UKIP seriously is beyond me'.
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