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UK Labours manifesto explained

BIRMINGHAM, England — The Labour Party launched its election manifesto with a promise to maintain freedom of movement, whether Brexit goes ahead or not.

At the last election, the publication of Labours manifesto was a major turning point in the campaign, with a number of popular policies boosting the partys performance. Labour will be hoping for a similar bounce in the polls, which currently put the party around 12 points behind the Conservatives.

In his campaign launch speech, Corbyn pitched himself as protecting the interests of ordinary people against the elite, and offering the most moderate policy on Brexit. “Labour is on your side,” he said. “Were opposed by the vested interests for standing up for a different kind of society.”

Here is a list of Labour policies in key areas:

Brexit

Labour would offer voters “the final say on Brexit,” the manifesto says. The party would seek to secure “a sensible deal” to leave the EU within three months of coming to power, and then to put that deal to a public vote alongside the option of remaining in the European Union within six months.

“This will be a legally binding referendum and we will implement the peoples decision immediately,” the manifesto states. “Labour rules out a no-deal Brexit, and we will end the scandal of billions of pounds of taxpayers money being wasted on no-deal preparations. No deal has never been a viable option.”

In the negotiations for a new Brexit deal, Labour will push for “a permanent and comprehensive U.K.-wide customs union;” “close alignment” with the single market; “dynamic alignment” on workers rights, consumer rights and environmental protections; continued participation in EU agencies and funding programs, including those in the areas of science, environment and culture; and clear commitments on security, including access to the European Arrest Warrant system.

Immigration

Labour is pledging to retain freedom of movement with the EU whether or not Brexit goes ahead.

Labour officials say the party recognizes the advantages that free movement has brought to U.K., including the rights to live and work anywhere in Europe. Labour would negotiate to retain these rights in any Brexit deal it seeks to negotiate.

Labour would grant all EU nationals in the U.K. the automatic right to continue living and working in the country. This would be managed through a “declaratory system,” which would allow EU nationals to register for proof of status “if they wish,” but they would no longer have to apply under the governments EU Settlement Scheme.

As for non-EU migration, the party is pledging to introduce a “humane” migration system that meets the skills and labor needs of the U.K. economy. It would extend family reunion rights to non-EU citizens and close two major immigration removal centers.

Economy

Labour says it intends to “rewrite the rules” of the U.K. economy and make it “low in carbon, rich in good jobs, radically fairer and more democratic.”

The party is pledging a Green Industrial Revolution that includes a shift to renewable energy, investment in rail and electric cars, reducing poverty and making housing energy-efficient. Labour would nationalize the railway system, water, mail, broadband internet and part of the energy system.

It would fund many of its plans by increasing the main rate of corporation tax from 19 percent to 26 percent, and the small profits rate to 21 percent.

Labour says it would force big multinationals to declare their profits where their economic activity occurs, rather than wherever is most beneficial to them for tax purposes. The measure is aimed at tech giants such as Facebook, Google and Amazon.

The party says it would launch a £400 billion National Transformation Fund, and rewrite the Treasurys investment rules to meet climate and environmental targets. It would establish a Local Transformation Fund in each English region to fund infrastructure projects.

Labour would create a Sustainable Investment Board made up of the chancellor, business secretary and governor of the Bank of England, to oversee all investment by the state.

The party says it will fund its plans partially by increasing income tax for anyone earning over £80,000 per year. It has pledged not to raise income tax, National Insurance or VAT for anyone earning under that amount.

Mobility

Labour plans to bring back 3,000 axed bus routes, introduce free bus travel for under-25s, and help local councils take public ownership of bus networks.

The railways will also be brought back into public ownership. Labour wants to expand rail electrification to the whole country, deliver a “Crossrail for the North” — proposed railway network in the North of England — and complete the High-Speed 2 route to Scotland.

The party wants to review licensing authority jurisdictions for the taxi and private hire sectors, and set “national minimum standards of safety and accessibility.”

It would support the construction of three battery factories, also known as gigafactories, and four metal reprocessing plants.

Technology and R&D

The party wants everyone in the U.K. to have access to free full-fiber broadband by 2030. To deliver the policy, Labour would nationalize Openreach, the digital network arm of the telecoms firm BT, and set up a new entity called British Broadband, which would run the network.

Its maintenance would be funded with a new tax on technology giants such as Apple and Google. Places with the worst broadband access would be given priority in the roll-out.

Labour will impose fines on companies that fail to address online abuse, and will introduce a Charter of Digital Rights.

The party also committed to transform the U.K. into an “innovation nation” by setting a target for 3 percent of GDP to be spent on R&D by 2030.

Financial services

Labour plans to create a National Investment Bank, backed up by a network of Regional Development Banks, to provide £250 billion of lending for business, infrastructure and innovation over 10 years.

Any companies that fail to tackle the climate crisis would be delisted from the London Stock Exchange.

Health

Labour is pledging to increase spending on health by 4.3 percent a year on average.

The party says it will reverse privatization in the National Health Service and publish an infrastructure plan to ensure decisions are balanced between U.K. regions.

Labour would also make the NHS a net-zero-carbon service by improving heating and insulation and increasing reliance on renewable energy and electric vehicles, including ambulances. It pledges to plant an NHS forest of 1 million trees.

The party says it would put the NHS “at the forefront of the development of genomics and cell therapies” for cancer and dementia patients. It would seek to secure access to generic versions of drugs if “fair prices are rejected for patented drugs.”

Labour would provide funds for 27 million more doctors appointments per year and introduce free annual dental checkups.

Agriculture and fishing

Labour is pledging to achieve net-zero-carbon food production by 2040.

It wants to maintain existing agricultural and rural structural funds but repurpose them to support environmental land management and sustainable food production.

The manifesto pledges to invest in more county farms — which are owned by local authorities and let out to young and first-time farmers — and help increase access into farming for new entrants.

It says Labour would set maximum sustainable yields for all shared fish stocks, and redistribute fish quotas along social and environmental criteria.

If Brexit goes ahead, the party would require the majority of fish caught under a U.K. quota to be landed in the countrys ports.

Climate and sustainability

The Labour Party promised to deliver the “substantial majority” of the emissions cuts needed to tackle climate change by 2030. The party is therefore stepping back from a previous proposal to make the U.K. carbon neutral by 2030.

A Labour government would Read More – Source