Which of the political parties has the policies which will be most advantageous to the engineering and manufacturing sectors in the upcoming general election?
Now that the political parties have published their manifestos for the election on 12th December (even if the Brexit Party refuses to call its list of pledges and aspirations a manifesto) we can ask our readers which of the parties has the best policies for the engineering and manufacturing sectors.
As we have done with other recent general elections, we will run another poll at the end of the campaign to see which party readers think is most likely to win considering how the campaigning period has gone.
This is undoubtedly a very unusual election, dominated – whether the parties like it or not – by the single issue of the UK’s exit from the European Union.
For the Liberal Democrats and Conservatives, this is the central plank of their manifestos, both promising to end the uncertainty that has troubled industry since the referendum in June 2016: in the former case, by revoking the article 50 declaration and remaining within the European Union, and for the Conservatives campaigning under the slogan of “get Brexit done” completing the legal departure from the EU by the end of January.
However, numerous commentators have noted that this merely signals the beginning of detailed talks to determine the precise nature of the UK’s future trading relationship with the EU, which will undoubtedly involve a great deal of Parliamentary time and may not reduce uncertainty at all.
Labour’s policy, to negotiate a new withdrawal agreement and put it to a referendum, certainly extends the uncertainty. Labour’s other policies affecting industry include an increase in corporation tax to 26 per cent and a raft of policies intended to tackle the climate emergency.
All of the parties’ manifestos are available on their websites.
Our fourth poll option, “Other”, refers to the Brexit Party and the national parties standing in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland.
As these parties are not standing in all constituencies, we are combining their representation in the poll under a single option for convenience. It would be useful if readers selecting this option indicated which party they favour. The option you pick need not necessarily reflect how you intend to vote, as readers may have other factors affecting their choice.
We do not intend this poll to be a discussion about your feelings on Brexit. We have run enough polls on the subject to be confident that the majority of our readers oppose it, although a minority are keen to argue the opposite viewpoint. As such, any comments confined only to the pros and cons of the EU question will be deleted.
As ever, we welcome debate around the subject and ask all readers to familiarise themselves with our guidelines for the content of comments before submitting, and remind them that comments may be moderated for concision, grammar and style before publication. We will publish the results of this poll on 3 December.