Launching the party’s “contract with the people”, Mr Farage said all the party’s demands were underpinned by the need to secure a “clean-break Brexit” with the EU.
While he acknowledged they were not seeking election as the next government, he said they were committing to achieving the Brexit which people voted for in the 2016 referendum.
“A clean-break Brexit can shape the future of our economy and society,” he said.
“It will give us the freedom to shape our future by taking immediate control of our own laws, borders, money, fishing and defence.”
The policy document calls for:
– Scrapping the BBC licence fee
– Allowing citizens to call referendums if five million people agree
– Abolishing inheritance tax
– Investing £2.5 billion in fishing and coastal communities
– Giving businesses zero-rate corporation tax for the first £10,000 of pre-tax profits
– Abolishing privatisation in the NHS
– Establishing 24-hour GP surgeries
While the Brexit Party is not standing candidates in Conservative-held constituencies, Mr Farage said it was important they took seats to ensure the Tories did not backtrack on their commitments.
“We need the Brexit Party to hold Boris Johnson to his word,” he said.
“We need the Brexit Party voice there in the House of Commons or we’re not going to get anything like what we voted for three-and-a-half years ago.”
Mr Farage said their plans could be paid for by £200 billion of savings by cutting the foreign aid budget, ceasing EU payments and scrapping the HS2 high-speed rail link.
On immigration, he said the UK was facing a “population crisis” as a result of the policies which had been adopted in the 1990s.
He said the numbers allowed to settle in the country should be capped at “about 50,000” a year and he called for firm action to deter illegal immigrants trying to enter the country.
“We would very much want to get immigration numbers down to what for 60 years were very acceptable and very workable post-war levels,” he said.
“We think a strong message that says if you come here illegally across the Channel or in the back of a container that you wouldn’t be allowed to stay will prevent further human tragedy, and it’s the right thing to do.”
Why isn’t it called a manifesto?
Nigel Farage says that the word itself has become “tainted” and that people associate it with telling lies.
Instead he has called his booklet of policies a ” Contract with the People “.
But it is still full of different policies that the party would want to bring in.
Asked why he’s bothered since the Brexit Party isn’t even standing in enough seats to be able to form a government,
Maintain subsidies and grants paid by the EU to UK businesses such as farmers, fisheries, universities and research bodies: this is our money anyway, recycled by the EU.
Invest £2.5bn in our Fishing and Coastal Communities: with a Clean-Break Brexit we recover control of a 200 mile exclusive economic zone (or the median line), creating the opportunity to regenerate our coastal communities with new investment, jobs and tourism.
- Cut VAT on domestic fuel: EU rules stop us reducing our VAT rates. We will zero rate VAT on domestic fuel to reduce energy bills — saving an average £65 per household.
- Reduce import tariffs: 20% of UK food items are sourced from outside the EU. A Clean-Break Brexit will allow us to reduce tariffs to zero on certain foods, footwear and clothing.
- Zero rate Corporation Tax for the first £10,000 of pre-tax profits: one million companies – some 66% of the total number – pay less than £10,000. This represents just 6% of Corporation Tax take in 2019; £3.4bn. Total cost £5.1bn per year
- Provide transitional relief to key sectors such as the automotive industry, to ensure a smooth Brexit.
- Create Freeports in certain regions to encourage investment and create new jobs.
- Overhaul financial services regulation, cut red tape, increase competition and boost lending to Small and Medium Enterprises.
- Abolish Inheritance Tax (IHT).
- Reform the voting system to make it more representative.
- Abolish the House of Lords.
- Make MPs who switch parties subject to recall petitions.
- Overhaul the postal voting system to combat fraud and abuse.
- Reform the Supreme Court – judges who play a role in politics must be subject to political scrutiny. Ensure political balance by broadening participation in the Selection Commission or conduct interviews by Parliamentary Committee.
- Make the Civil Service sign an oath to act with political neutrality.
- Phase out the BBC licence fee.
- Require Universities to incorporate an obligation to protect legal free speech.
- Introduce Citizens’ Initiatives to allow people to call referendums, subject to a 5m threshold of registered voter signatures and time limitations on repeat votes.
- Ensure that the UK maintains its commitment to NATO and meets its commitment to spend 2% of GDP on defence as an absolute minimum.
- Withdraw from the European Defence Union. This will mean we leave the EU defence procurement directive ensuring the UK has the right to stipulate defence contracts stay at home.
- Crack down on illegal immigration and stop the human tragedy associated with human trafficking.
- Reduce annual immigration and address wage stagnation and the skills gap by introducing a fair points system that is blind to ethnic origin. And always provide a humane welcome for genuine refugees.
Crime and Justice
- Increase police numbers — more visible policing, ensure focus on combating violent crime, robbery and burglary rather than enforcing restrictions on free speech.
- Target the menace of County Lines drug dealers, gangs and the growth of knife crime.
- Abolish distortive targets and introduce sentence ‘ranges’ for young offenders, to encourage rehabilitation.
NHS and Social Care
- The NHS must remain a publicly-owned, comprehensive service that is free at the point of use. Your postcode should not determine your care or health.
- There should be no privatisation of the NHS; where existing private initiatives have failed to deliver we will return them to public ownership.
- Invest in medical research and development and will stop the taxpayer being ripped off by pharmaceutical companies.
- Abolish all politically imposed hospital targets that distort clinical priorities.
- Re-open the nursing and midwifery professions to recruitment without the degree requirement, alongside a new nursing qualification in social care.
- Introduce 24-hour GP surgeries to relieve the strain in A&E departments.
- Have a national debate on our NHS, involving the public alongside MPs, doctors and experts. We should discuss ring-fencing the NHS budget and the tax revenues that pay for it.
- Further expand parental choice — academies and free schools have improved results.
- Abolish student loan interest.
- Abolish the target to push 50% of young people into Higher Education.
- Scrap the cumbersome Apprentice Levy and improve tax incentives for employers to take on genuine apprentices.
Welfare and pensions
- Support those who have paid into the system with accelerated payment processes (five-week maximum), and continue to root out fraud.
- Undertake a 12-month review of the system and bring in reforms within two years.
- Review the position of women unexpectedly short-changed by recent rises in the state pension age.
- Extend the use of dormant funds to support civil society.
- Simplify planning rules for Brownfield sites.
- Make it easier for councils to borrow from central government to build council houses
- Accelerate infrastructure grants funding to kick start schemes of marginal viability.
- Change the process for outline planning consent.
- Introduce more flexibility on the size and type of units as part of a development.
- Allow more flexibility in the number of affordable homes within a development scheme.