Mandelson: Britain 'shouldn't be over-sensitive' to EU criticism
Former European Commissioner Lord Mandelson has told ITV News the UK should not be "over-sensitive" after a senior EU official claimed British political leaders are "destroying the future" of its people by adopting populist policies on immigration.
Ed Miliband should hold his nerve and not be "dragged along by the Ukip bandwagon" on Britain's membership of the European Union, former Labour minister and ex-European Commissioner Lord Mandelson told ITV News.
The Labour leader previously said he was against holding an in-out referendum under the terms proposed by Prime Minister David Cameron.
Lord Mandelson told Libby Wiener: "I think Ed Miliband is right to stand his ground but also to say that if there is in the future a need for, circumstances arising that require a referendum, then of course a Labour government would agree to that and put it to the British people".
Former House of Lords leader Lord Strathclyde has warned that it would be "comprehensively damaging" for the chamber's reputation if rumours were true that some peers wanted to block the European Union (Referendum) Bill by using delaying tactics.
He said nobody outside the Lords would understand why they were "deliberately denying the people their say on this issue".
The Labour peer, who was speaking as the European Union (Referendum) Bill reached its second reading in the House of Lords, said he believed it was possible to win the argument for Britain to remain part of the EU if it was put to a public vote.
He said: "We need to concentrate on using all of our influence and energy in building up Britain's influence in Europe, not driving Britain out of Europe.
"This Bill is not about changing or improving the EU, it is indeed stage one in raising impossible demands on the European Union in order to create the pretext for leaving it."
"My message to the Government is stop grandstanding to the Ukip gathering. If you are really serious about European reform, you have to go out and work for it and join with others in achieving it," he added.
European Commission vice-president Viviane Reding said UK political leaders are "destroying the future" of Britons by adopting populist policies on immigration, during a webchat on European citizenship.
She said: "[On] 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...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% because of the input of these working Europeans who come to Great Britain."
Asked if she was frustrated by the lack of European citizenship among Britons 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."
The European Commission vice-president Viviane Reding has been accused of "stoking up" a row over immigration, after she claimed that British politicians were peddling "myths" about an influx of EU migrants.
Ms Reding said it was "simply not true" that an "invasion of foreigners" were draining the UK's welfare and health resources and stealing jobs.
She claimed that most of the information about the EU given to the UK public was based on "myths" and warned political leaders that adopting populist tactics to win votes was "destroying the future" of Britain.
Conservative backbencher Mark Reckless told BBC Radio 4's Today programme he was "very surprised" by Ms Reding's comments.
The MP for Rochester and Strood said: "I think the measures taken by the Government have been quite moderate and actually I think it's these European politicians - Ms Reding, her colleague Mr Andor, the Polish prime minister and foreign minister - who seem to have been stoking this thing up."