Bennion: Labour and Tories are “dancing to the UKIP tune” on EU free movement

Groupe ALDELiberal Democrat MEP for the West Midlands Phil Bennion has criticised Labour and the Conservative Party for “dancing to the UKIP tune,” during a debate on EU freedom of movement in the European Parliament today.

Mr Bennion said:

“Both the Conservatives and Labour are dancing to the tune of UKIP on EU migration. It falls to Liberal Democrats to set the record straight and defend the benefits that freedom of movement brings, including for the 2.2 million or so British citizens who live and work across the EU.

“Of course, freedom to move shouldn’t mean freedom to access benefits, and it is right that the UK government is taking action to prevent any abuse of our welfare system.

“But all the evidence shows that EU migration has brought huge economic benefits to the UK and has made a significant net contribution to the public purse. Moreover, many EU migrants are highly-skilled and filling vital job shortages, including 19,000 doctors working for the NHS.

“So while we should respond to citizens’ justifiable concerns about pressure on public services and social integration, let’s not pander to UKIP by fuelling inaccurate stereotypes.”