London, United Kingdom, Jun 8 – Britain goes to the polls on Thursday to elect the prime minister who will chart Britain’s course through Brexit negotiations and confront the aftermath of three terror attacks in less than three months.
Here are the key points from the manifestos of the main parties:
– Brexit –
Conservatives: Prime Minister Theresa May has already outlined her negotiating demands, saying she will seek a departure from the European Union’s single market and an end to free movement of people.
Labour: The party will accept Britain’s departure from the European Union, but will fight to retain benefits of the single market, vowing in its manifesto not to leave the bloc without a deal.
Liberal Democrats: The Lib Dem manifesto provides the strongest opposition to Brexit, promising to hold a second referendum on a final Brexit deal and to maintain free movement of people with the continent.
If the Brexit deal is rejected in a second referendum, the Lib Dems say Britain would stay in.
Scottish National Party (SNP): The party wants a referendum on independence before Britain actually leaves the bloc and has said an independent Scotland would then re-apply to join the bloc.
First Minister Nicola Sturgeon also wants a seat in Brexit negotiations and for Scotland to be given special status to be allowed to stay in the single market even if the rest of Britain leaves.
UKIP: The deeply eurosceptic, anti mass-immigration party has promised to ban the flying of the EU flag on public buildings and to push the government into not paying for any divorce settlement with the bloc.
– Immigration –
Conservatives: The Tories will try to reduce annual net migration to the tens of thousands, down from 248,000 in 2016 although some senior party figures are sceptical whether this can be achieved.
May has promised that Britain will end freedom of movement with European citizens following Brexit.
Labour: Jeremy Corbyn’s party has made no pledge to reduce immigration, saying in its manifesto that it “believes in fair rules and reasonable management of migration”.
Lib Dems: The Lib Dems manifesto puts no target on immigration levels, and calls to remove students from official migration statistics.
SNP: The party’s manifesto calls for the devolution of immigration powers to Scotland to allow immigrants from the European Union to continue to come.
UKIP: The party advocates a “one in, one out” immigration system and pledged to reduce net migration to zero over a five-year period.
– Health & Social Care –
Conservatives: May announced controversial plans for the elderly to pay for their own care costs if they have assets worth more than £100,000 ($128,600, 114,000 euros).
The reforms were immediately called the “dementia tax”, forcing May to announce there would be a cap on the total amount any one person would pay, coinciding with a plunge in her polling lead.
Labour: The party has pledged £30 billion of extra funding for the National Health Service and £8 billion for care services over the next parliament.
Independent think-tank the IFS has said the tax rates needed to fund Labour’s spending plans would be the highest for Britain in peacetime.
– Security –
Conservatives: The election has been overshadowed by an attack in which three assailants in a van mowed down pedestrians and went on a stabbing rampage in the popular London Bridge area on Saturday. Eight people were killed in Britain’s third attack in three months.
May has insisted that the Conservatives have increased counter-terrorism policing resources and has defended her decision to cut thousands of police jobs during her time as interior minister.
On Sunday she promised to clamp down on Islamist extremism, particularly with more online regulation.
Labour: Corbyn has promised to fund an extra 10,000 police officer jobs. He said more community policing will increase “detailed local knowledge and build a network of relationships”.