What are British PM Theresa May’s plans for corporate reform and Brexit?

Here are some of the key Conservative Party pledges.

By: AP | London | Published: May 18, 2017 6:08 pm
Brexit, Theresa May, Theresa May Brexit, brexit May, Brexit Theresa May, UK snap polls, UK snap elections, Britain snap elections date, Britain elections date Britain’s Prime Minister Theresa May speaks to the media outside 10 Downing Street, in central London, Britain April 18, 2017. British Prime Minister Theresa May called on Tuesday for an early election on June 8, saying the government had the right plan for negotiating the terms of Britain’s exit from the European Union and she needed political unity in London. REUTERS/Stefan Wermuth

Setting out her pitch to voters ahead of the June 8 election, British Prime Minister Theresa May said on Thursday she will press on with her approach to Brexit, cut immigration and introduce corporate reform. Marking a major break with previous Conservative Party orthodoxy, the election document said the party did not believe in “untrammeled markets” and vowed to introduce caps on energy prices to protect consumers.

Below are some of the key Conservative Party pledges:

CORPORATE REFORM

– Britain’s public “rightly affronted” by high executive pay, reform needed
– Executive pay will be subject to strict annual votes by shareholders, listed companies must publish ratio of executive pay to broader British workforce pay
– Examine use of share buybacks to ensure they can’t be used artificially to hit performance targets, inflate executive pay
– Ensure foreign ownership of companies controlling important British infrastructure does not undermine security
– Listed companies will be required to nominate a director from the workforce, created a formal employee advisory council or assign specific responsibility for employee representation to a non-executive director
– Employees will have the right to request information relating to the future direction of companies
– Companies with more than 250 employees will be required to publish more data on the pay gap between men and women

IMMIGRATION

– Reduce annual net migration to tens of thousands. No target date given.
– New immigration policy that allows Britain to reduce and control the number of people who come to UK from the EU, while still attracting the skilled workers the economy needs
– Continue to bear down on immigration from outside the EU
– Increase earnings thresholds for people wishing to sponsor migrants for family visas
– Toughen the visa requirements for students, introduce new, higher requirements for those wishing to stay and work in Britain after their studies
– Double Immigration Skills Charge levied on companies employing migrant workers to 2,000 pounds a year by the end of the parliament

BREXIT

– Negotiate deep and special partnership with the EU which will allow free trade between the UK and the EU’s member states
– Leave EU’s single market and customs union
– Deliver smooth, orderly Brexit
– Believe that no deal is better than a bad deal for the UK but will enter the negotiations in a spirit of sincere cooperation and committed to getting the best deal for Britain
– Make sure Britain has control of own laws
– Maintain the Common Travel Area and as frictionless a border as possible for people, goods and services between Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland
– Workers’ rights conferred on British citizens from EU membership will remain
– Work together in the fight against crime and terrorism, collaborate in science and innovation
– Protect democratic freedom of the people of Gibraltar, overseas territories to remain British for as long as wish
– Final agreement will be subject to a vote in both houses of parliament
– There may be specific European programmes in Britain might want to participate and if so, it will be reasonable to make a contribution
– Days of Britain making vast annual contributions to the European Union will end
– Necessary to agree the terms of future partnership alongside withdrawal, reaching agreement on both within the two years allowed by Article 50
– Will not bring the European Union’s Charter of Fundamental Rights into UK law
– Will remain signatories to the European Convention on Human Rights for the duration of the next parliament

ECONOMY

– Balance government budget deficit by middle of next decade
– Increase national living wage to 60 percent of median earnings by 2020
– Reduce taxes on businesses and working families.
– A previous pledge by the Conservative Party ahead of the 2015 election not to increase VAT, Income Tax or National Insurance was not included in May’s manifesto.
– Maintain plans to cut corporation tax to 17 percent by 2020

ENERGY

– Ambition for UK to have lowest energy costs in Europe
– Upgrade energy infrastructure
– Establish industrial energy efficiency scheme to help large companies install measures to cut energy use and bills
– Do not believe that more large-scale onshore wind power is right for England but will maintain position as a global leader in offshore wind
– Develop the shale industry in Britain, legislating to change planning law for shale applications and establishing a new share environmental regulator

PROTECT CONSUMERS

– A safeguard tariff cap to protect energy customers from unacceptable rises
– A personal debt “Breathing Space” scheme so people with serious debt problems can apply for legal protection from further interest, charges and enforcement action

HOUSING

– Meet 2015 commitment to deliver 1 million homes by end of 2020, deliver half a million more by end of 2022
– New “Council Housing Deals” to build social housing
– Crack down on unfair practices for those who own property on a leasehold basis, whereby homeowners pay ground rent to a landlord annually, by tackling escalating ground rents
– Look at how to increase security for good tenants and encourage landlords to offer longer tenancies as standard

SCOTLAND

– Now is not the time for another referendum on independence
– Second referendum cannot take place until Brexit process has played out and only if there is public consent for it

DEFENCE

– Maintain the overall size of the armed forces
– Retain Trident continuous-at-sea nuclear deterrent
– Continue to meet NATO commitment to spend at least 2 percent of GDP on defence
– Increase defence budget by at least 0.5 percent above inflation in every year of the new parliament.

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