UKIP Manifesto, 
Economy

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Economy and Trade

Britain’s trade policy has been under the control of the European Union since we joined in 1973. Our businesses have been obliged to obey EU legislation, even when they do not export to the EU. Leaving the EU will free Britain to pursue its own trade and commercial policies, which offer enormous opportunity for increased trade and employment.

• Post Brexit, Britain will regain its independent seat on the World Trade Organisation and we will be free to decide our own trade policy and negotiate trade agreements, where appropriate, with other countries.

• Approximately 10% to 12% of the UK economy is concerned with exporting to the countries of the European Union, whereas 100% of businesses have to abide by EU laws. Outside the EU, a British government can reduce regulation to an appropriate level, which will aid economic growth, prosperity and employment.

• Brexit will allow the UK to strengthen its economic ties with our historical friends and allies in the Commonwealth. This could include a Commonwealth Free Trade Agreement.

• UKIP would seek to minimise the use of Zero Hour Contracts except where they are to the mutual benefit of employee and employer, and to ensure that everyone can earn a living wage.

Industry

Britain’s manufacturing has been in steady decline for many years. We now have a massive and growing trade deficit in goods with the EU. In the 25 years of membership of the EU Single Market the UK’s deficit in goods with the EU has grown remorselessly from £5 billion in 1992 to £96 billion p.a. in 2016. The deficit with the whole world totalled £134 billion (2016) or 6.5% of GDP. 7

• Halving this deficit should be a 10-year priority in a 20-year programme of manufacturing expansion worth £90 billion of increased added value, costing around £50 billion of repayable public loans, paid for by cancelling HS2.

• On average UK manufacturing supplies only 12% of the UK market. This level of manufacturing capacity is dangerous for both economic stability and national security.

• Our national strategy has therefore to be to increase the range of UK products, with particular emphasis on Sustainable Design principles, namely the three Rs: reuse, repair, recycle.

• There are also pressing needs for new capital goods industries including: ship-building for a postBrexit fishing fleet and coastal protection vessels, and for a new generation of factory-built modular homes.

• Two new forms of manufacturing organisation will be needed to achieve these goals for virtually all product sectors with both public and private investment: (1) Existing companies prepared to expand and collaborate in consortia with specially recruited design and marketing staff; (2) New grant-aided companies set up on the co-ownership principle.