Ukip has pivoted it’s #GE17 manifesto around response to “cancer” of “Islamic radicalism”
THE UK Independence Party (Ukip) has launched its manifesto with a pitch to tackle “Islamic radicalism” and the “issues around integration” days after an apparent terror attack in Manchester.
A new hard-line rhetoric from the party was already developing before the bombing on Monday (22 May), which claimed the lives of 22 at a pop concert, as the party struggled to fend off its decline as the Conservatives pitched themselves as the party of Brexit.
In recent months Ukip have tumbled down the polls and lost 145 seats in recent local elections.
Party leader Paul Nuttall talked of a “cancer that needs cut out” of society as he discussed “Islamic radicalism” and connected it with what he claimed were the problems of integration.
CommonSpace looks at the party’s move further to the right and the policies in it’s 2017 manifesto.
In the wake of the Manchester attack, the party pledged extra investment in the Police and Armed Forces.
This would include 20,000 extra police, 20,000 troops, seven thousand extra prison guards and four thousand extra border guards.
Ukip’s immigration policy will be focused on reducing working class migration in particular, with a moratorium on immigration for low skilled workers and short term seasonal visas – to allow for the continued exploitation of farm labourers.
Net zero migration over five years, with only as many immigrants coming into the country as people leaving, will be organised to benefit professionals, apparently.
The main drive in the Ukip manifesto to improve integration is to ban forms of religious dress. Under the policy Muslim women would be forbidden from wearing the Niqab and the Burqa, forms of veil that cover most of the face, in public. The policy states it is the “wearing” of the garment which will be illegal, which means the women themselves will be liable for any legal repercussions.
The other headline proposal to promote integration is the abolition of ‘sharia councils’. These are voluntary bodies which make judgements in accordance with an interpretation of Islamic law in the UK. Their judgements are not binding. The manifesto implies people in the UK are living under different laws – this is not the case.
The party lays out six “tests” which it says government must meet. Nuttall said that Ukip was the UK’s “insurance” in case the government reneged on hard Brexit.
The include; exit from European Court of Justice, full control over borders subject to no free movement obligations, a soverign maritime zone 200 miles around the UK coast or halfway to neighbouring shores, exit from the single market and resumption of World Trade Organisation membership, no payments to the EU as part of a Brexit settlement which must be reached by the end of 2019.
Measures in the economy section of the manifesto mainly focus on tax cuts and removing EU regulations. They also include measures like penalising the public sector for failing to provide services on time – something increasingly prominent due to austerity.
Incredibly “austerity” is not mentioned in the manifesto. The manifesto pledges to not make any further cuts to disability benefit, but to maintain those it says have led to “record high” levels of unmet need for disabled people.
Picture courtesy of European Parliament
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