The British election is on June 8 and Theresa May’s Conservative Party are expected to win convincingly.
Unveiling the document in the Tory target seat of Halifax, West Yorkshire – close to the venue for Jeremy Corbyn’s manifesto launch in Bradford two days before – Mrs May said Britain was facing the most challenging period in the past 60 years.
The Conservative election manifesto renews a promise to reduce net immigration to below 100,000 – a vow the party has made and broken since 2010. It sets no date by which Britain will reach the goal.
Many Britons who voted past year to leave the European Union were motivated by a desire to control immigration, which has soared as the EU has expanded. European Union citizens have the right to live and work in other member states.
Net migration, the difference between people coming to the United Kingdom for more than a year and those leaving, stood at 273,000 in the year to last September.
The manifesto also pledges to reduce and control immigration from Europe after Britain leaves the European Union and is able to exercise its own border controls.
The British Conservative Party’s election manifesto includes plans to drastically cut net migration from 273,000 to less than 100,000 by targeting students and working visas.
Paul Johnson, director of think-tank the Institute for Fiscal Studies, said sharply reducing immigration would be “an additional cost on employers and the economy” because it implied losing a source of productive labour.
May has identified New Zealand as one of the first countries the United Kingdom hopes to negotiate a free trade agreement talks with, and English said access rights for New Zealanders would be discussed at the same time, but not necessarily as part of the agreement.
In a direct appeal to Labour voters, she said: “It is time to put the old, tribal politics and to come together in the national interest, united in our desire to make a success of Brexit”.
The manifesto also gives the government greater flexibility to raise and spend money.
Mr Cameron’s triple lock protection for the state pension – requiring it to rise by the largest of 2.5%, inflation or average earnings – will continue to 2020, but then be replaced by a double lock of earnings or inflation. It also eases off on previous promises to eliminate the deficit, moving the target date to 2025.
The Prime Minister’s agenda amounted to a raid deep into traditional Labour territory, with promises to protect elderly people against the cost of social care, boost the National Living Wage and deliver an £8 billion boost to NHS funding.
To do that, May said she will remove some financial protections for pensioners – generally a group politicians are loath to alienate due to their high voter-turnout rates.
The money saved by means-testing the winter fuel payment will go directly to fund health and social care.
May, who has often been compared to Thatcher, distanced herself from the legacy of the country’s only other female leader by rejecting the “cult of selfish individualism”.
May’s political philosophy appears strikingly different.
In the 1980s, former Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher allowed council tenants to buy their homes at rock-bottom prices and heavily restricted more council building, depleting the stock of cheaply available homes.