IoD denounces Theresa May’s anti-immigration speech as “myth” and “irresponsible rhetoric”

Businesses are “astounded” by home secretary’s speech

The Institute of Directors has slammed Home Secretary Theresa May’s anti-immigration speech in a strongly worded statement issued to the press.

The statement follows May’s uncompromising speech in Manchester at the Conservative Party Conference, in which she pledged asylum reform and a crackdown on immigration.

She added that high levels of migration had made a “cohesive society” impossible, and that migrants’ net impact on the UK’s economy was “close to zero”, but that they forced thousands of British people out of work.

The IoD’s director general, Simon Walker, did not mince his words condemning May’s speech.

He said: “We are astonished by the irresponsible rhetoric and pandering to anti-immigration sentiment from the Home Secretary. It is yet another example of the Home Secretary turning away the world’s best and brightest, putting internal party politics ahead of the country, and helping our competitor economies instead of our own.

“The myth of the job-stealing-immigrant is nonsense. Immigrants do not steal jobs, they help fill vital skill shortages and, in doing so, create demand and more jobs. If they did steal jobs, we wouldn’t have the record levels of employment we currently do.

“It is about time the Home Office stopped undermining business and our own government’s efforts to secure productivity growth. Political leaders should stop vilifying migrants and acknowledge the hugely important contribution they make to this country’s economy.”

He added: “While employers recognise public concerns, heated rhetoric cannot be allowed to prevail over cool-headed leadership. We need a Comprehensive Immigration Review to set out a sensible plan for managing inward migration in a way that supports our economy, works for our businesses, and addresses public concerns.”

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Readers' comments (4)

  • they would say that, would n't they? IoD mainly represents very large firms benefitting from cheap labour, whilst EU bureacracy discourages small firms from expanding into Europe and competing. The IoD have been wrong every time-including the time they wanted us to join the euro-and what a disaster that would have been. Other senior business figures think we would be better off out of the EU.

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  • The IoD needs to think before shouting - Yes we need to allow in skilled engineers, doctors etc. (they are not the problem). Its the unskilled/semi skilled immigrants. If for no other reason that we don't have the space and housing even for those who are already live here (immigrant and native alike).

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  • Anonymous

    It's all part of Theresa May's leadership positioning strategy. She wants to position herself as more right wing than the BNP so she can attract their votes.

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  • Anonymous

    What is all this stuff about unskilled and semi skilled workers about? It's pure xenophobia and fear of foreigners that is the problem with Britain and has always been. Brits often display this same xenophobic attitude when they go to other people's lands to work and never ever make an effort to integrate! This is despite having a long history of emigration to and taking over of other people's lands both as colonists and settlers and later to work in skilled, semi skilled and unskilled jobs across Europe, Asia, African and the Americas, so why shouldn't others come here. Today we live in a reciprocal world and if Britain slams the door shut on immigrants then be rest assured that hundreds of thousands of British economic emigrants and benefit scroungers will also have the door slammed in their faces and no more sunshine jobs in Spain, France, Australia, America or slumming around jobs in places like Chile or South Africa. The IoD is right. There are many jobs that are being filled by the so called unskilled and semi skilled foreigners because the average unskilled/semi-skilled Brit would rather live off benefits than work. It's a case of the pot calling the kettle black.

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