General Election 2019 UK Politics

General Election 2019: Brexit Party ‘Manifesto’

Written by Callum Williams

Nigel Farage has refused to release a manifesto, however, the Brexit Party has released information about their key policies on their website.

Brexit

The Brexit Party do not consider Boris Johnson Brexit deal to be ‘Brexit’ as Britain remains under EU law and ECJ jurisdiction during the transition agreement. Furthermore, they claim the deal makes it difficult for Britain to strike its own trade deal and creates a border across the Irish Sea.

The Brexit Party’s official policy on Brexit is what Farage calls a ‘Clean-break Brexit’, commonly known as a no-deal Brexit.

Political Reform

The Brexit Party plans to introduce significant electoral reform. They would abolish First Past the Post, introduce proportional representation and introduce unspecified changes to the postal voting system. The Brexit Party would introduce more direct democracy, although it’s unclear what this means.

The Brexit Party plans to reform parliament by abolishing the House of Lords and introducing an elected upper chamber. They would also introduce recall petitions for any MP who switches party during a parliamentary session. Furthermore, they say a written constitution should be ‘considered’.

The Brexit party plans to reform the judiciary. They claim ‘The politicisation of the judiciary requires that judges be subject to political scrutiny’. Although, it is unclear what ‘political scrutiny’ entails.

Economy (Brexit Dividend)

Income

The Brexit party plans to raise £200bn by scrapping HS2, recover £7bn from the EIB (European Investment Bank), raise £39bn from not ratifying the EU withdrawal agreement and redirect half of the foreign aid budget.

Investment

The Brexit party plans to invest £100bn in local rail and road projects in the ‘left behind regions’. They also plan to invest in digital infrastructure which includes: free Wi-Fi on public transport and free ‘base level domestic’ broadband.

The Brexit party plans to scrap interest on student loans, abolish the apprenticeship levy and introduce a new apprenticeship scheme.

Tax

The Brexit Party plans to abolish inheritance tax and business rates for high street retailers and leisure operators outside of London which, will be funded by a small online sales tax.

Investment Priorities

The Brexit Party plans to invest in fishing and coastal communities, they claim a no-deal Brexit would boost the fishing industry. The Brexit Party would also invest in the health and social care system and the Environment and Recycling.

The Brexit Party plans to ‘Invest in Strategic National Industries’, they plan to create jobs in the Steel Industry, Railways and Defense. They also plan to decrease the cost of living by reducing tariffs on food, clothing and footwear.

Analysis

Although the Brexit Party can’t win the election, there is a small chance they may gain seats in the Commons, which could prove crucial in a hung parliament. So, it is useful to understand what the Brexit Party might demand in return for propping up a Tory Government.

Unsurprisingly the theme in the Brexit Party’s policies is Brexit. They want a no-deal Brexit which would cause significant damage to the UK economy. However, despite the consequences, Nigel Farage has to advocate a no-deal Brexit as it is the basis of his entire political career.

The Brexit Party proposes radical reform to the electoral system. Unsurprisingly, they support proportional representation as First Past The Post has historically disadvantaged Nigel Farage’s previous party UKIP. The abolition of the Lords may prove to be a popular policy especially considering the current anti-establishment feeling towards Westminster.

Their plan to politicise the Supreme Court would be a dangerous precedent to set, presumably this policy is concerning certain Supreme Court decisions which, declared the Government couldn’t trigger Article 50 without Parliamentary Consent in 2017 and declared that Johnson’s Prorogation was unlawful in 2019. However, as seen in the US when you politicise the judiciary you undermine the fundamental principle of justice, a fair and independent judiciary, a principle this policy would undoubtedly undermine.

The Brexit Party’s plan to invest in ‘left behind regions’ is an attempt to appeal to leave voters in the Labour heartlands. The Brexit Party believes they can gain votes from the disgruntled Labour leavers voters who would never vote Conservative. Whether this plan will gift the Brexit Party any seats is still unclear.

About the author

Callum Williams

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