UK Election 2019 Manifestos: Brexit Party

As said previously, these manifesto articles are only going to focus on policies which are non-devolved – so won’t count education, health, social care, some aspects of transport, housing etc.

Contract With The People (English – pdf)

Brexit

  • Supports leaving the EU without a deal with no transition period and no further ties with any EU political institutions.

Economy & Tax

  • Scrap High Speed 2 and invest at least £50billion in “development-staved regions”.
  • Offer free base-level (presumably 16Mb/s) broadband in deprived regions and free Wi-Fi on all public transport.
  • Abolish inheritance tax.
  • Reform corporation tax by introducing a £10,000 tax-free allowance on pre-tax profits.
  • Widen public investment in strategic industries including steel and the railways due to no longer needing to uphold EU laws on state aid.
  • Cut VAT on domestic fuel to zero.
  • Reduce tariffs on imports to zero on certain foods, footwear and clothing.
  • Maintain current EU funding to universities and research bodies; provide “transitional relief” to sectors like the automotive industry to prepare for a No Deal Brexit.
  • Create Freeports in “certain regions”.
  • Overhaul financial service regulation.
  • Scrap the Apprenticeship Levy.

Criminal Justice

  • Increase the number of police officers and ensure a stronger focus on violent crime rather than “restricting free speech”.
  • Target County Lines drug gangs.
  • Introduce sentence ranges for young offenders to encourage rehabilitation.

Immigration

  • Crackdown on illegal immigration and human trafficking.
  • Reduce annual immigration and introduce a points system.
  • Provide a humane welcome to “genuine refugees”.

Environment & Energy

  • Invest £2.5billion in fishing and coastal communities.
  • Maintain current subsidies and grants paid by the EU to farmers and fisheries.
  • Make it illegal to export waste abroad to be incinerated, buried or disposed at sea.

Welfare

  • Accelerated universal credit payments for those who’ve paid into the system; undertake a general review of universal credit and bring in reforms within two years.
  • “Review the position” of the WASPI women who were caught out by an increase in the state pension age.

Defence

  • Commit to spending a minimum of 2% of GDP on defence.
  • Withdraw from the European Defence Union to repatriate defence procurement contracts.

Foreign Policy

  • Cut the foreign aid budget by 50%.

Constitutional Reform & Miscellaneous

  • Reform the voting system to “make more representative”; overhaul postal voting to combat abuse and fraud.
  • Abolish the House of Lords.
  • Make MPs who switch parties subject to recall petitions.
  • Increase political involvement in the selection and scrutiny of Supreme Court judges.
  • Phase-out the BBC licence fee.
  • Allow the public to trigger referendums if 5million registered voters sign a petition to hold one.

The major faults are things that derail the manifesto, have been completely overlooked or are outright lies – including policies which are unachievable or sketchy at best.

The minor faults are more moderate errors, circular arguments, bombastic statements or policies which will be difficult to achieve in real life, make reference to devolved responsibilities or are otherwise confusing or poorly explained.

Major Faults:

  • The small print has been left off this contract entirely. This is some seriously lightweight, back of a fag packet stuff that doesn’t go into any great detail on anything. Mediocre.
  • No costings at all other than some vague figures relating to corporation tax, scrapping HS2 etc. and EU funding.
  • The Brexit Party gained all their AMs in the Senedd through defections from other parties. Suddenly they have a problem with it. Alright, they’re not MPs and there’s a different system for filling vacancies on the regional lists in the Senedd but it looks hypocritical.
  • Further politicising the Supreme Court is open to abuse and constitutional thuggery.

Minor Faults:

  • Some of their policy proposals encroach on devolved areas (i.e fisheries) but they haven’t made any distinction or noted this
  • Overhaul financial service regulation – how? You’ll need a bigger fag packet to do that.
  • “Crackdown on illegal immigration and human trafficking” – how? To what extent?
  • Where will the freeports be?
  • Who counts as a “genuine refugee”?
  • Increase police numbers – by 1 or 10,000?
  • How will you make the voting system more representative?
  • Pretty much every single public transport company offers some sort of free Wi-Fi; it’s not a particularly grand policy statement.
  • Will the UK Parliament become a unicameral legislature (a single chamber)? Will the Brexit Party even bother to replace the House of Lords? It’s not explained to any extent (despite James Wells’ comments on an elected second chamber).
  • Replace the licence fee with what? Again, not something you can promise without having some idea of what you intend to do.
  • There’s seemingly no Welsh language version of the manifesto at time of posting – though that might change in the coming weeks.
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