Iain Duncan Smith has hit out at “lazy” British businesses who hire employees from the European single market instead of training someone from the UK to do the job.
The former work and pensions secretary and Brexit campaigner told the International Business Times that EU freedom of movement had led to firms failing to invest in their workforce.
Mr Duncan Smith’s comments come weeks after newly appointed International Trade Secretary Liam Fox branded British business “fat and lazy”.
“Most of the EU influx is in low-skilled work, 80 per cent, and that’s where it’s done all the damage to people’s salaries and incomes at the bottom. It's also made British business rather lazy, just going out and hiring somebody from somewhere and not training them up,” the former Tory leader said.
“So there’s going to be a cultural shift for business, they are going to have to apply for work permits.”
Mr Duncan Smith caused controversy in 2010 when he made similar comments about unemployed people living in Merthyr Tydfil. He told them to “get on a bus” to find work.
Dr Fox had previously told supporters of the Conservative Way Forward group: “This country is not the free trading nation that it once was. We have become too lazy, and too fat on our successes in previous generations.
The latest contribution from Mr Duncan Smith comes as Prime Minister Theresa May set out a new timetable for triggering Article 50. She said she do this before March 2017, heralding the start of formal Brexit negotiations.
What experts have said about Brexit
What experts have said about Brexit
1/11 Chancellor of the Exchequer Philip Hammond
The Chancellor claims London can still be a world financial hub despite Brexit “One of Britain’s great strengths is the ability to offer and aggregate all of the services the global financial services industry needs” “This has not changed as a result of the EU referendum and I will do everything I can to ensure the City of London retains its position as the world’s leading international financial centre.”
2/11 Yanis Varoufakis
Greece's former finance minister compared the UK relations with the EU bloc with a well-known song by the Eagles: “You can check out any time you like, as the Hotel California song says, but you can't really leave. The proof is Theresa May has not even dared to trigger Article 50. It's like Harrison Ford going into Indiana Jones' castle and the path behind him fragmenting. You can get in, but getting out is not at all clear”
3/11 Michael O’Leary
Ryanair boss says UK will be ‘screwed’ by EU in Brexit trade deals: “I have no faith in the politicians in London going on about how ‘the world will want to trade with us’. The world will want to screw you – that's what happens in trade talks,” he said. “They have no interest in giving the UK a deal on trade”
4/11 Tim Martin
JD Wetherspoon's chairman has said claims that the UK would see serious economic consequences from a Brexit vote were "lurid" and wrong: “We were told it would be Armageddon from the OECD, from the IMF, David Cameron, the chancellor and President Obama who were predicting locusts in the fields and tidal waves in the North Sea"
5/11 Mark Carney
Governor of Bank of England is 'serene' about Bank of England's Brexit stance: “I am absolutely serene about the … judgments made both by the MPC and the FPC”
6/11 Christine Lagarde
IMF chief urges quick Brexit to reduce economic uncertainty: “We want to see clarity sooner rather than later because we think that a lack of clarity feeds uncertainty, which itself undermines investment appetites and decision making”
7/11 Inga Beale
Lloyd’s chief executive says Brexit is a major issue: "Clearly the UK's referendum on its EU membership is a major issue for us to deal with and we are now focusing our attention on having in place the plans that will ensure Lloyd's continues trading across Europe”
8/11 Colm Kelleher
President of US bank Morgan Stanley says City of London ‘will suffer’ as result of the EU referendum: “I do believe, and I said prior to the referendum, that the City of London will suffer as result of Brexit. The issue is how much”
9/11 Richard Branson
Virgin founder believes we've lost a THIRD of our value because of Brexit and cancelled a deal worth 3,000 jobs: We're not any worse than anybody else, but I suspect we've lost a third of our value which is dreadful for people in the workplace.' He continued: "We were about to do a very big deal, we cancelled that deal, that would have involved 3,000 jobs, and that’s happening all over the country"
10/11 Barack Obama
US President believes Britain was wrong to vote to leave the EU: "It is absolutely true that I believed pre-Brexit vote and continue to believe post-Brexit vote that the world benefited enormously from the United Kingdom's participation in the EU. We are fully supportive of a process that is as little disruptive as possible so that people around the world can continue to benefit from economic growth"
11/11 Kristin Forbes
American economist and an external member of the Monetary Policy Committee of the Bank of England argues that the economy had been “less stormy than many expected” following the shock referendum result: “For now…the economy is experiencing some chop, but no tsunami. The adverse winds could quickly pick up – and merit a stronger policy response. But recently they have shifted to a more favourable direction”
Though Ms May has repeatedly said there will be controls on immigration from the EU she has yet to lay out details about what exactly this will entail.
Whether British businesses will retain access to the single market is not entirely clear either, though the leaders of other EU countries have said immigration controls are not consistent with membership of the trading bloc.
Ms May will this morning set out further details about Brexit in a speech to the Tory conference in Birmingham. She will appear alongside Foreign Secretary Boris Johson, Brexit Secretary David Davis, and Dr Fox.Reuse content