Paul Nuttall calls UKIP the “guard dogs of Brexit” as manifesto is launched

UKIP is calling on the government to bypass Article 50 and ensure a “true, unequivocal Brexit”, as it launched its manifesto this morning.

Resuming its campaign after the Manchester attack on Monday, UKIP promised to bring net migration down to zero, leave the Single Market and refuse any ‘divorce’ payment to Brussels.

The manifesto calls for unilateral withdrawal from the EU, calling Article 50 a “trap designed to obstruct countries from leaving the EU”.

In more symbolic measures relating to Brexit, UKIP is also proposing the return of blue British passports and the creation of a new bank holiday on 23 June, the date of last year’s referendum.

UKIP leader Paul Nuttall called his party the “guard dogs of Brexit”.

“If the Prime Minister begins to backslide during the Brexit negotiations, she must know that UKIP will be there,” he said.

“We have fought for Brexit all our political lives and we want to ensure that the people get the kind of Brexit they voted for.”

A points-based immigration system should include a test of social attitudes, including respect for women and gay people, said the party.

“Those of us who identify as LGBT may have first-hand experience of how misogynistic and homophobic attitudes are tolerated in the name of ‘respecting cultural differences’,” said Flo Lewis, chair of LGBT in UKIP.

In further efforts to reach out to women, the manifesto pledges to remove VAT from sanitary products and take measures against FGM.

The manifesto also promises to ban the burqa in public places, saying it would open opportunities for women.

In other measures, UKIP is promising to spend an extra £11 billion on health and social care, abolish the TV licence fee and scrap tuition fees for science and engineering students.

UKIP said the licence fee would be replaced with a public service broadcast fund “available to any broadcaster for specific programmes or projects”.

The manifesto also promises to maintain the ‘triple lock’ on pensions which ensures a minimum increase every year.

Deputy chair Suzanne Evans said the plans were fully costed, with savings made by reducing foreign aid and ending contributory payments to the EU.

Among other proposals, UKIP promised to abolish the House of Lords and introduce proportional representation for Westminster elections.

A new English Parliament would also be introduced with similar powers to devolved legislatures in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland.

Meanwhile, HS2 would be scrapped under a UKIP government, with road tolls scrapped and regional airports expanded.

“Motorists have had enough of being treated like cash cows and told to stop using their cars,” said transport spokeswoman Jill Seymour.