UK Political Party Manifestos written in a book for 2024 ahead of the General Election 2024

UK Political Party Manifestos 2024

Key points from the 2024 manifestos of UK political parties. Highlighting proposed policies and priorities on future immigration laws in the UK.

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With the upcoming General Election 2024, immigration has emerged as a critical issue in the manifestos of the UK's main political parties. Each party presents distinct approaches to immigration, reflecting their broader values and policy goals. This article provides a summary of the key points from the manifestos of the Conservative Party, Labour Party, Liberal Democrats, Green Party, and Reform UK, highlighting their proposed policies and priorities on immigration.

Conservative Party 2024

The Conservative Party's manifesto adopts a firm stance on illegal migration, viewing it as unfair to legal migrants, taxpayers, and the illegal migrants who face risks. The party emphasises plans to stop illegal boat crossings, which strain public services. Over the past year, small boat arrivals in the UK have decreased by a third, with 26,000 crossings prevented, and the Albania deal has reduced numbers by 90%. The Conservatives aim to deter illegal immigration by ensuring that those who enter illegally cannot stay.

To prevent illegal immigration, the party outlines six strategies:

  1. Establishing a deterrent by continuously removing illegal migrants to Rwanda and prioritising national security over foreign courts, including the European Court of Human Rights (ECtHR).
  2. Enforcing the Illegal Migration Act to prevent illegal migrants from blocking their removal.
  3. Focusing on organised immigration crime by utilising the National Crime Agency and Intelligence Services to tackle people smugglers.
  4. Holding an international summit to collaborate with other countries on reforming international laws, with visa limits imposed on uncooperative countries.
  5. Returning individuals without the right to remain in the UK to their home countries, using deals like the Albanian agreement.
  6. By implementing these measures, the party aims to provide more support to those seeking refuge from persecution in countries like Hong Kong, Ukraine, and Afghanistan.

The Conservatives aim to attract only the most skilled migrants, believing current immigration levels are too high. Measures already implemented include:

  • Ending the ability for international students and care workers to bring dependents.
  • Abolishing the 20% salary discount for shortage occupations and scrapping cut-price shortage labor from overseas.
  • Increasing the salary threshold for Skilled Worker visas by 48% to £38,700 to prevent immigration from undercutting British workers.
  • Raising the minimum income requirement for family visas to £38,700 to ensure workers can financially support dependents, with future adjustments for inflation.
  • Increasing the Immigration Health Surcharge to £1,035 and requiring migrants to undergo advanced health checks.

The Conservatives aim to admit only the brightest international students who can contribute to the economy and will continue delivering the Windrush Compensation Scheme. They also remain committed to the EU Settled Status Scheme for EU citizens who settled in the UK pre-Brexit.

Finally, the Conservatives propose a legal cap on migration to protect public services in 2024, considering both the benefits and costs of migration. This cap will decrease annually until the next parliament and will be subject to an annual parliamentary vote. They firmly reject any return to free movement.


Labour 2024 Manifesto

The Labour Party's manifesto acknowledges that migrant workers can positively impact the economy, public services, and communities but criticises the UK's over reliance on foreign workers to fill skill shortages under the Conservatives. They highlight that net migration has reached a record high, more than triple the rate since the 2019 general election. Labour's primary goal is to reduce net migration by reforming the points-based immigration system to ensure it is fair and well-managed, with appropriate visa restrictions. They also pledge to prevent employers and recruitment agencies from abusing the visa system or violating employment laws.

Labour condemns the Conservative approach to immigration as incoherent and advocates for a more thoughtful strategy that includes up-skilling UK workers to fill skill gaps. They propose strengthening the Migration Advisory Committee and establishing a framework for collaboration with skill bodies in the UK, the Industrial Strategy Council, and the Department for Work and Pensions. This would lead to increased training plans for sectors like health, social care, and construction.

Labour rejects the Conservative plan to send illegal migrants to Rwanda, criticising its high costs and limited impact. Instead, they suggest reallocating these funds to combat criminal gangs driving the immigration crisis. Labour aims to secure a new security deal with the EU for real-time intelligence sharing, hire additional caseworkers to address the asylum backlog, and establish a returns and enforcement unit with 1,000 staff to expedite the removal of those without the right to remain in the UK. They also plan to negotiate more return agreements and increase the number of safe countries to speed up the process. Labour promises to collaborate with international partners to address the humanitarian crises that cause people to seek asylum in the first place.


Liberal Democrats 2024 Manifesto

Also known as 'Lib Dems', the Liberal Democrats plan to end the hostile environment and invest in officers, training, and technology to combat smuggling, trafficking, and modern slavery. Their  proposes include removing policy-making responsibilities for work and student visas from the Home Office and scrapping the Rwanda scheme in favour of providing safe and legal routes to sanctuary. A dedicated unit will be established to speed up and improve asylum decision-making, aiming to process most cases within three months. Asylum seekers will be allowed to work if they have been waiting for more than three months, helping them support themselves and integrate into the community.

The Liberal Democrats also propose creating a flexible merit-based system for work visas, collaborating with employers to address long-term workforce needs, and developing strategies for training and educating the UK workforce. They plan to exempt NHS and care staff from the Immigration Skills Charge and reverse the ban on dependents of care workers coming to the UK. Additionally, they will expand the Youth Mobility Scheme, negotiate with the EU, raise the age limit to 35, abolish visa fees, and extend the visa length to three years.

The manifesto outlines measures to reduce costs and simplify processes for obtaining visas and British citizenship. It also calls for greater clarity and provision of safe and legal routes to sanctuary for refugees. This includes expanding and funding the UK Resettlement Scheme, creating new humanitarian travel permits for asylum seekers, and establishing a scheme to resettle unaccompanied child refugees from Europe.

Key aims include redirecting funds from the scrapped Rwanda scheme to reduce the asylum backlog, reuniting families separated under Conservative policies, and increasing opportunities for asylum seekers.


Green Party 2024 Manifesto

Emphasising a positive and inclusive approach to immigration, the Green Party's manifesto recognises the UK's history as a nation built by migrants and the inevitability of migration. They advocate for supporting migrants and fostering inclusivity, aiming to help migrants establish roots in the UK.

The party proposes working with other countries to create safe routes for asylum seekers fleeing persecution, war, or climate disasters. They seek to implement a fast and fair asylum application process and allow asylum seekers to work while their applications are processed. Highlighting the harm caused by the current hostile environment, including to the Windrush generation, the Greens aim to abolish the No Recourse to Public Funds condition and argue that migration should never be criminalised. They call for an end to migrant detainment unless there is a public safety risk.

To address the dysfunctional Home Office, the Green Party proposes creating a new Department of Migration, separate from the criminal justice system. They plan to charge only application fees for visa applications and provide free NHS access for all migrants with visas. The Greens also support allowing international students to bring family members or dependents and removing minimum income requirements for applications like spousal visas.

Considering climate change, the Greens highlight its disproportionate impact on marginalised communities, often forcing people to migrate. They aim to increase the overseas aid budget and support lower-income countries in addressing the climate crisis, enabling people to remain in their home countries.

If people are forced to leave their homes, the Green Party have promised to ensure that they can do so without fear or intimidation.


Reform UK 2024 Manifesto

Reform UK's manifesto outlines a critical stance on immigration, proposing significant reforms within the first 100 days. The party aims to secure Britain's borders to protect wages, public services, and British values. They advocate for freezing immigration in non-essential sectors to safeguard culture and identity, with an exception for healthcare. Their four-point plan to halt small boats includes leaving the European Convention on Human Rights, barring illegal immigrants from resettlement, establishing a New Department of Immigration, and returning illegal migrants to France. Asylum seekers arriving illegally from safe countries will be processed swiftly, possibly offshore, and will be ineligible for asylum or citizenship.

There will be no legal aid for non-citizens, and rejected individuals will be sent back to their home countries. Criminal foreign nationals will be deported post-sentence, and immigrants committing crimes may lose citizenship, except for minor offenses. Reform UK proposes stricter visa rules for international students, a five-year residency requirement for accessing benefits, and a higher National Insurance rate for foreign workers to incentivise hiring British workers. This policy aims to boost wages and generate over £20 billion in five years for training the British workforce.

Reform UK's four-point plan to stop small boats full of migrants from entering the country can be found below:

  1. Leave the European Convention on Human Rights.
  2. Not allow any illegal immigrants to be resettled in the UK.
  3. Create a New Department of Immigration.
  4. Pick up illegal migrants out of France and take them back to France.




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Careers in Law | Paragon Law

Careers in Law | Paragon Law

Paragon Law is a UK-based immigration law firm, advising people on UK visas and immigration law. Find out about working at a top immigration law firm.
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