Home Secretary Amber Rudd's plans to curb immigration numbers are "economically illiterate", Lord Karan Bilimoria has warned. The Cobra Beer founder launched the scathing attack against the Conservative government in an interview with IBTimes UK.

Bilimoria was reacting to the news that Theresa May's administration wants businesses to list how many foreign workers they employ.

"It's absolutely shocking as a proposal," the cross-bench peer said.

"I'm appalled at the way in which what I call the 'wretched referendum' is undoing all of [the UK's social] progress made over these last three and half decades."

He added: "We are an open, fair and just country. We are a top 10 economy in the world because of the contribution of immigration over the decades from the EU and outside the EU."

Bilimoria predicted parliament will "shoot it down in flames" if the controversial proposal makes it to the House of Commons or Lords.

The peer also attacked Rudd's plan to slash the number of international students coming to study in the UK. "I used to say Theresa May's policy on immigration were economically illiterate and Rudd is showing she is equally economically illiterate," he said.

Bilimoria wants international student figures to be excluded from the Office for National Statistics (ONS) headline net migration total.

May and Rudd have recommitted the government to David Cameron's "tens of thousands" pledge.

The latest official figures had net migration at more than 300,000. Rudd has also promised to introduce a £140m ($177m) migration impact fund, to help public services in areas of high migration.

A similar initiative was first introduced under former Labour Prime Minister Gordon Brown, with the Coalition government later scrapping the scheme.

Immigration was a key issue during the EU referendum campaign, with Vote Leave backing an Australian-style points system.

The government has promised to prioritise migration controls over access to the EU's single-market as part of the country's negotiations with Brussels. May has promised to trigger those talks by March 2017.

Lord Bilimoria
Lord Bilimoria, founder of Cobra Beer Cobra