Green Party promises ‘confident and caring’ Britain in manifesto launch

The Green Party has promised nuclear disarmament, nationalised utilities and a universal basic income, as it launched its general election manifesto on Monday.

The manifesto also promises a referendum on the Brexit deal, with an option to remain in the EU.

Party co-leader Jonathan Bartley said the manifesto was setting out “big, bold ideas” to build a confident and caring Britain.

“If you believe in a welcoming Britain, a country of compassion and a nation confident enough to build bridges, not walls, then you have a choice,” he said.

Caroline Lucas, co-leader and the only Green candidate to win a seat in 2015, said the manifesto offered hope at a time that “feels more uncertain than any other in my lifetime”.

The manifesto says that cancelling the Trident replacement would save £110 billion over the next 30 years.

The party hopes to run a pilot scheme for a universal basic income, whereby the government would pay a minimum income to all UK residents.

The manifesto suggests a maximum 35-hour working week along with the abolition of “exploitative” zero-hours contracts.

Reaching out to young voters, the Greens are also promising to scrap tuition fees, reduce the voting age to 16 and scrapping the lower minimum wage for younger people.

Other education policies include raising the school starting age to seven and bringing academies and free schools back into local authority control.

As well as keeping the NHS in public hands, the manifesto promises to renationalise railways, buses, energy, water and the Royal Mail.

In an effort to attract LGBT voters, the party also promised to make it easier to obtain a gender recognition certificate and allow intersex people to use an X on their passport.

“The Green Party have long been at the forefront of advancing the rights of those who identify as LGBT as well as other sex, sexuality and gender diversities,” said the party’s equalities spokesperson Aimee Challenor, a candidate in Coventry South.

There are 457 Green candidates standing in England and Wales, while 22 prospective candidates have stood down to help a “progressive” candidate beat the Conservatives.

“If we do end up with a Tory Government you can be sure that Green MPs will hold Theresa May’s feet to the fire,” said Lucas.