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Election 2017: UKIP Has No Technology Policies

Steve McCaskill is editor of TechWeekEurope and ChannelBiz. He joined as a reporter in 2011 and covers all areas of IT, with a particular interest in telecommunications, mobile and networking, along with sports technology.

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UKIP is big on Brexit, big on immigration, but not so big on tech it seems

UKIP would offer precious little to the British technology industry if it was to win the 2017 General Election.

Its 64 page manifesto is completely devoid of any specific policies for the sector, save for vague promises about how technology would be used to enforce key pledges such as fishing zones and border control.

Unsurprisingly, Brexit is UKIP’s main focus, but the UK tech sector was overwhelmingly against leaving the European Union.

Technology firms in the UK would be restricted on recruitment as only EU citizens who were resident in the UK before Article 50 was triggered would be able to stay and enjoy their present rights – so long as British citizens receive the same treatment.

UKIP 2

UKIP manifesto technology

An ‘Australian style’ points system would be introduced to see which skills were needed and an international Visa system would treat EU and non-EU citizens equally. Workers with salaries in excess of £30,000 would be prioritised.

British firms would have to advertise jobs in Britain before they were advertised overseas and it would not be illegal to hire a less qualified British young person over a more experienced foreign applicant.

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UKIP would introduce more technical education in schools and waive tuition fees for Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) degrees if students work in the UK for five years after graduation.

SMBs would be able to bid for all government contracts, receive support and benefit from ‘coastal enterprise zones’ that could house technology firms.

However it appears as though UKIP has given little or no thought to technology which was prioritised in the Conservative and Liberal Democrat manifestos and given attention by Labour.

UKIP has no MPs.

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