So, What's It All About?
Launching the 64-page manifesto, UKIP leader Paul Nuttall said the party is at its best “when it’s radical”. Titled “Britain Together”, the manifesto promises that the party will be “the guard dogs of Brexit”. They’re calling for a ban on face coverings in public places, a rise in spending for the NHS, and a reduction in net migration to zero.
Human Rights Laws and Access to Justice
The party is pledging to stand by the promises set out in their 2015 manifesto to repeal the Human Rights Act (the legislation which brought the Human Rights Convention into UK law) and leave the Human Rights Court. They want to replace the current system with a new UK Bill of Rights. UKIP say that “maintaining confidentiality in family law proceedings is not incompatible with scrutiny”. To address this, they plan to allow media reporting of child placement and adoption proceedings.
Employment and Workers' Rights
Human rights protect us just as much at work as they do at home, so any proposals surrounding workers’ rights are also a discussion about our human rights. In their manifesto, UKIP claims they’ll protect all rights workers currently have as part of our EU membership, so as to avoid any kind of “race to the bottom on employment rights”. However, they want to scrap the Working Time Directive, which protects doctors and employees from having to work more than 48 hours a week. They’re also proposing rules requiring firms to advertise jobs to British people before going to those abroad. Further, they claim they’ll “severely limit” the use of zero-hour contracts.
The right not to be discriminated against is one of our fundamental human rights, protected by the Human Rights Convention. As such, any policies about equality play into this discussion. The party have pledged to end “multiculturalism”, which they say has “fragmented” our society and eroded our shared “British identity”. They say they will stand up for women against cultures “who have little or no respect for women”. They also want to ban the burqa and niqab in public places. They will end the use of bilingual forms, and introduce a points-based system to immigration which would look at an applicant’s social attitudes to women and gay people.
The manifesto says that Britain’s international relations should be “a shining star illuminating the way ahead for other European countries”. However, this isn’t tied in with our human rights values. Leader of UKIP, Paul Nuttall, says the focus of our foreign policy would be, “British interests and the security of our nation, while meeting our international responsibilities.”
Health and Disability
The right to access healthcare is protected by law, so health policies are also a human rights discussion by extension. UKIP want to give £9 billion to NHS England by 2021/22, and £2 billion for social care. Mental health is also a big focus: UKIP plan to increase spending by at least £500 million a year. They want to guarantee rights for EU healthcare workers within the NHS, and to encourage GPs who are retired or who have small children to work part-time or in job-share schemes.
Brexit is one of the biggest issues for the party. UKIP are insistent that Britain should leave the European Union, stressing that “there must be no compromise”. They’ve put together six “Brexit tests” to ensure there’s no backsliding on the referendum result. These include Parliament being the highest law-making authority (requiring us to leave the Human Rights Court), having control of our borders, immigration and trade policy, and ensuring that the deal is “done and dusted” by the end of 2019.
We all have a right to education. However, UKIP are keen to promote other ways into employment asides from university, and will introduce employability lessons in schools. They’ll stop paying tuition fees for courses where less than two thirds of students get a relevant or graduate- level job, but will abolish fees for those studying science, technology, engineering and mathematics. All disabled children would be offered the choice of mainstream schooling, and they would put a grammar school in each town.
Free Speech and Privacy
Freedom of speech is a protected human right. UKIP say that free speech is a “fundamental” part of our democracy. They say multiculturalism has stopped people from being able to criticise certain beliefs and cultural practices, something they would address. They also pledge to remove the licence fee which funds the BBC, but would still expect the channel to retain a core free-to-air offering on Freeview, as well as the World Service and local radio stations. They plan to extend the Internet Safety Strategy and consider legislation to crack down on online abuse.