The UK government’s anti EU migration rhetoric is "destroying the future of young people", a top Brussels official has claimed.
Viviane Reding, the vice president of the European Commission, said that details about the European Union presented to the British public was based on "myths" that "have nothing to do with reality".
Ms Reding, who has previously called for a United States of Europe, argued that it was "simply not true" that there was an "invasion of foreigners" who were stealing jobs and draining the UK’s welfare and health resources.
Government ministers appear to be flaming fears over immigrants in order to deflect attention from real problems faced by the UK, she added.
During a webchat on European citizenship she said: "Coming back to the subject which the Government of the UK has pushed to the agenda, probably in order not to make people speak about the real subjects in the UK, are this supposed invasion of foreigners coming to the UK and stealing the jobs and stealing the social security and the health money.
"The fact and figures, and we all know this, show it is simply not true and I do believe also that the British industry has made it very clear, putting the figures on the table and showing that the GDP of Britain rose by 3-4 per cent because of the input of these working Europeans who come to Great Britain."
Asked if the lack of European citizenship among Britons frustrated her, she replied: "I am mostly frustrated about the political leaders because what is leadership if you just try with populistic movements and populistic speech to gain votes?
"You are destroying the future of your people, actually. That is what I'm really worried upon.
"That is why I ask help from all the reasonable force in Great Britain in order calmly to explain what are the optimum and the worst scenarios, also to explain what Europe is about and what Europe can do and what Europe can't do, what Europe does and what Europe does not do because most of the things which are told to the people in Great Britain are myths, have nothing to do with reality."