What the UKIP manifesto says about Brexit

What the UKIP manifesto says about Brexit

Launching UKIP’s 2017 general election manifesto, party leader Paul Nuttall said UKIP will be the ‘guard dogs’ and the UK’s ‘insurance policy’ on Brexit.

The party are not fans of the Article 50 process, with Brexit spokesman Gerard Batten MEP calling it ‘a trap’ to stop countries from leaving the EU. Instead the party would rather see the Government immediately repeal the European Communities Act 1972, which would instantly end the supremacy of EU law.

One stand-out policy is the unilateral guarantee to (law-abiding) EU citizens the right to stay indefinitely. Throwing a curve-ball like that is straight out of the Farage playbook and designed to outflank the Conservatives from the left. Theresa May has not yet guaranteed the rights of EU citizens and this policy is designed to make UKIP look more compassionate on a specific aspect of immigration, but it runs the risk of being seen to go soft on the issue to its core supporters. The Conservatives have consistently said they want to guarantee the rights of all EU nationals who settle before Brexit but won’t do so until the reciprocal rights of UK nationals in the EU are protected.

Another interesting proposal is for a referendum in Gibraltar on becoming a fully integrated part of the UK. This is something Nigel Farage has argued for in recent months and if such a referendum succeeded, it would make the Spanish Government’s demands for a veto on Gibraltar much harder – it’s the same arrangement Madrid has with its own enclaves in Morocco.

Although the manifesto has a commitment to ban the EU flag from public buildings and declare 23rd June an Independence Day bank holiday, the party admits that they won’t realistically be forming the next government. Instead they have have offered six ‘key tests’ to ensure the next government delivers Brexit fully.

UKIP’s Six Brexit tests in full

1 The Legal Test Parliament must resume its supremacy of law-making without restriction. Britain must be completely free from the jurisdiction of the European Court of Justice, and we must be free, if we wish, to relinquish our membership of the European Court of Human Rights.

2 The Migration Test Britain must have full control of immigration and asylum policies, and border control. We must be not be bound by any freedom of movement obligation, and we must be free to set and meet our own annual migration targets.

3 The Maritime Test The UK’s full maritime sovereignty must be restored and we must have control of our maritime exclusive economic zone, which stretches 200 miles off the coast or to the half-way point between the UK and neighbouring countries. There must be no constraints on our fishing fleet other than those decided upon by the UK parliament.

4 The Trade Test The UK must retake its seat on the World Trade Organisation and resume its sovereign right to sign trade agreements with other entities or supra-national bodies. We must have full rights to set our own tariff and non-tariff barriers consistent with WTO rules, and we must have left both the EU single market and the customs union.

5 The Money Test  We must not pay any ‘divorce’ payment to the EU, nor contribute to the EU budget. We must have been paid our share of financial assets from entities such as the European Investment Bank, in which some £9 billion of UK money is vested.

6 The Time Test Brexit must be done and dusted before the end of 2019.


UKIP’s specific Brexit-related policies

  • Ban the flying of EU flags from public buildings
  • Make 23rd June Independence Day and a bank holiday
  • Bring back the old British passport
  • Unilaterally allow law-abiding EU citizens living in the UK before Article 50 was triggered the right to stay indefinitely
  • Unilaterally guarantee the rights of all EU nationals working in health and social care to remain
  • Halve gross immigration and reduce net migration to zero over a five-year period
  • Increase the number of Border Agency staff by 4,000
  • Moratorium on unskilled and low-skilled immigration for five years after we leave the EU
  • Test the social attitudes of migration applicants
  • New International visa system with no distinction between EU and non- EU workers
  • Six-month visas for seasonal workers
  • Australian-style points based system
  • Abolish EEA family permit scheme and reinstate the primary purpose rule
  • People on work visas may apply for British citizenship after five years,if they have worked, paid tax , and maintained their medical insurance throughout
  • Foreign nationals who obtain British citizenship fraudulently will be deported
  • No benefits will be paid for dependants living abroad after we leave the EU
  • Honour obligations to bona fide asylum seekers
  • Only British citizens or foreign nationals who have paid UK taxes for at least five consecutive years eligible for non-urgent NHS care
  • Tighten application and approval process for EHIC cards
  • Scrap the Clinical Trial Directive and the Working Time Directive
  • Repeal the 1964 London convention on fishing
  • Retake UK seat on the World Trade Organisation
  • Desirable to have Free-Trade agreement with the EU along the same lines as today, although trading on WTO terms ‘may be an economically sound choice’
  • Do not strike a Free-Trade deal involving a huge ‘divorce’ settlement or free movement arrangement
  • With WTO terms, the Treasury will receive a tax windfall of £11 billion from import tariffs
  • WTO tariff windfall could be used to fund a VAT cut to compensate consumers for slightly higher prices
  • If the EU were seen to be punishing Britain start a Buy British campaign
  • Cut unnecessary EU regulation from the 88% of  economy not linked to trade with EU countries
  • Work with President Trump to strike a US trade deal
  • End the EU’s trade tariff regime which harms the developing world
  • Strike Free Trade deals with developing countries whilst reducing foreign aid
  • Strike trade deals with countries all around the world
  • Establish the UK as a low-tax, low regulation economy
  • Oppose the establishment and continuance of protectionist customs unions like the EU
Foreign Policy
  • Stand up for the territorial integrity of British dependencies and territories
  • Referendum (for Gibraltarians) on whether to integrate Gibraltar fully into the UK
  • Spend some of the £1 billion EU-managed regional development budget on UK-based modular homes