UK's May unveils Conservative manifesto

The British prime minister revealed the Conservative Party's plans for the country's future ahead of the general election on June 8.

Photo by: Reuters
Photo by: Reuters

May promised on Thursday to wipe out Britain's budget deficit by the mid-2020s if her Conservative Party wins the June 8 national election.

British Prime Minister Theresa May urged voters to "strengthen my hand" in Brexit talks and vowed to cut immigration as she unveiled her Conservative Party's manifesto on Thursday ahead of a general election.

May reiterated that Britain would be leaving the European single market and the customs union and warned of battles ahead over the next two years as the country negotiates its departure from the European Union.

"Every vote for me and my team will strengthen my hand in the negotiations to come," May said at the launch in Halifax in northern England, calling it "a manifesto to see us through Brexit and beyond."

"If we fail, the consequences for Britain and for the economic security of ordinary working people will be dire. If we succeed, the opportunities ahead of us are great."

New promises

Pitching to voters outside her centre-right party's traditional base, May promised new rights for workers, to curb executive pay and cap energy prices.

She repeated a pledge to cut net migration to below 100,000 a year despite the government's failure to meet this target since 2010.

As dozens of anti-austerity campaigners and trade unionists rallied outside, she declared, "It is time to put the old tribal politics behind us and to come together in the national interest, united in our desire to make a success of Brexit."

Running a loose race

The prime minister is confident of being re-elected with an increased majority in the House of Commons, as her Conservatives are well ahead of the main opposition Labour party in the polls.

Two new opinion surveys published on Thursday showed Labour gaining some ground after leftwing leader Jeremy Corbyn published his manifesto this week, although the party is still trailing badly.

A telephone poll by Ipsos MORI poll put the Conservatives at 49 percent – unchanged since April – and Labour up eight points at 34 percent.

TRTWorld and agencies