Manifesto preview: The early policies starting to take shape

PUBLISHED: 18:32 20 April 2017 | UPDATED: 18:32 20 April 2017

Gareth Fuller/PA Wire

Gareth Fuller/PA Wire

The manifestos are a few weeks away yet. But here is a look at some of the main themes already taking shape.

CONSERVATIVES

For the Tories this is going to be the Brexit election – and the manifesto is likely to outline a dreaded Hard Brexit.

Theresa May, will put her plans for withdrawing from the European Union front and centre.

They will include pledges to end the free movement of labour from the EU, withdraw from the jurisdiction of the European Court of Justice and to pull out of the single market and EU customs union – all measures the Prime Minister believes will strengthen her hand when it comes to negotiating the terms of Britain’s divorce from the remaining EU 27.

Away from the EU, the manifesto can be expected to put more flesh on May’s flagship policy of more grammar schools for England. But on other issues questions remain. The Prime Minister has said she wants to bring down immigration to “sustainable” levels, but will the manifesto commit her to David Cameron’s goal of reducing net migration to below 100,000-a-year – a target the Government has consistently failed to meet?

May is under pressure from some in the party to abandon another key Cameron policy – the commitment, enshrined in law, to spend 0.7% of GDP on international aid. The Conservatives will also have to decide whether they want to continue with Cameron’s so-called “triple lock” guaranteeing pensioner incomes – something Chancellor Philip Hammond already has hinted they could look at again after 2020.

LABOUR

Labour, in contrast, seem to want to make it about almost anything but Brexit – an issue the party has struggled to deal with since last year’s referendum vote. A clear strategy on leaving the EU is a must if Labour want to challenge for Downing Street but currently it is a muddle.

Jeremy Corbyn has set out a list of his priorities focusing primarily on bread-and-butter domestic issues including the creation of a publicly-owned national investment bank to help achieve full employment, building a million new homes, strengthening workers’ rights, protecting the NHS, and establishing a national education service.

There have been some specific pledges on retaining the pensions triple-lock, extending free school meals for primary pupils paid for by imposing VAT on private school fees, and increasing support for carers by reversing Conservative cuts to inheritance tax.

The party has also said it will reduce inequality in income and wealth by making the tax system “more progressive” and ensuring “higher earners” are “fairly taxed”. It has yet to spell out, however, how it intends to achieve this and it will be one of the most keenly-awaited - and potentially controversial – sections of the manifesto.

On Brexit, the party has – after some agonising – ruled out a second referendum and says any new deal should deliver the “exact same benefits” as membership of the single market. They should have gone after the 48%.

LIBERAL DEMOCRATS

Like the Conservatives, the Liberal Democrats are keen to focus on Brexit – but for exactly the opposite reason. As the leader of the most consistently pro-EU party, Tim Farron sees the election as a chance to rebuild support from among the 48% who voted Remain in the referendum after their hammering in the 2015 general election. The party believes Britain should stay in the single market and will make big play of its promise of a second referendum once the terms of Britain’s departure have been agreed.

Support The New European's vital role as a voice for the 48%

The New European is proud of its journalism and we hope you are proud of it too. We believe our voice is important - both in representing the pro-EU perspective and also to help rebalance the right wing extremes of much of the UK national press. If you value what we are doing, you can help us by making a contribution to the cost of our journalism.

  • Become a friend of The New European for a contribution of £48. You will qualify for a mention in our newspaper (should you wish)
  • Become a partner of The New European for a contribution of £240. You will qualify for a mention in our newspaper (should you wish) and receive a New European Branded Pen and Notebook
  • Become a patron of The New European for a contribution of £480. You will qualify for a mention in our newspaper (should you wish) and receive a New European Branded Pen and Notebook and an A3 print of The New European front cover of your choice, signed by Editor Matt Kelly

By proceeding, you agree to the New Europeans supporters club Terms & Conditions which can be found here.



Supporter Options

Mention Me in The New European



If Yes, Name to appear in The New European



Latest articles

Lily Allen: We can’t gaslight an entire community like this... That’s what’s happening

In the area around Grenfell Tower shock and grief is giving way to anger and tension. Lily Allen, has volunteered there every day since the disaster

Brexit 2027: This is the UK 10 years on

If you think Brexit has been a disaster after just a year, imagine the damage it will do in a decade

Khan tells May: You need to “wake up and smell the coffee over Hard Brexit plans

Theresa May needs to “wake up and smell the coffee” and accept that the British public has rejected her plans for Brexit, Sadiq Khan said.

Nick Clegg: How to guard against ‘strong man’ politics

In an uncertain global landscape, the former deputy prime minister outlines reforms needed to safeguard the international order against nationalism and ‘strong man’ politics

Over dinner Tories sharpen the knives

Dinner table debate with Tory voters offers fascinating food for thought…

Theresa May is risking Ireland’s future

The Conservatives deal with the DUP risks undermining the delicate balance of power-sharing in Northern Ireland, says leading Sinn Féin figure

Psychology of Brexit: Simplicity

For what do people want more than anything else? It’s not the policies or the ideology, the big political personalities or the budget details, but more than anything they want the roulette wheel to stop turning.

Some joker organised Theresa May’s leaving drinks and 177k people RSVP’d

No plans on June 30? A Facebook event to give the PM a “happy send off” after a difficult year is proving to be seriously popular

Keep moaning. Keep sabotaging. Keep resisting

The Conservatives have been exposed as the opportunistic self-serving incompetents that they are.

Theresa May’s deal with the DUP to prop up her ailing Conservative administration is in doubt

With a critical Queen’s Speech looming the Northern Irish hardliners continue to play hardball for improved terms to vote with the Tories in the House of Commons.

Nicola vs. Ruth: Get set for biggest face off in politics

The seemingly sure-footed Nicola Sturgeon may have misjudged the post-Brexit mood.

Mrs May and her gay-hating mates

The kingmakers of Theresa May’s diminished government, the Democratic Unionist Party, hold some very controversial views

Two divorce lawyers have given their professional advice for Brexit talks

“After Brexit, the sooner we can reach the point of acceptance about our future the better.”

David Davis wants a Brexit deal ‘like no other in history’

Brexit Secretary David Davis will call for a “deal like no other in history” as he heads to Brussels to launch negotiations for Britain’s exit from the European Union.

Austerity may be over, but Brexit means it won’t feel like it

Inflation and prices are rising, real wages falling. We’re all going to feel the squeeze.

What will it take for black and Asian Tories to realise their party fears and loathes diversity?

There is no place in the Conservative Party for 
ethnic minorities

Your chance to own limited edition artwork

Signed artwork by The New European strictly limited to 200 signed prints

Anyone still barking ‘Brexit means Brexit’ should be ashamed of themselves

The election taught us the importance of nuance which was missing amid the misplaced certainties of last year’s referendum. Now, we desperately need to hang on to it

Trade deals not on agenda for looming Brexit talks

Brexit talks kick off on Monday – but there won’t be any talk about trade.

Watch us on YouTube

Boris Johnson is clear as mud on Brexit talks

Views: 866

Tim Farron steps down as Lib Dem leader

Views: 202

Jeremy Corbyn schools Theresa May on strong and stable leadership...

Views: 661

Podcast

Trending

Newsletter Sign Up

Sign up to receive our regular email newsletter