Prime Minister Theresa May announced a snap General Election, to be held on 8 June 2017.

Cedrec followed the manifestos for the 2015 Election, with Picking apart the Party Policies (2015) and we are back with our analyses on the manifestos.

As an Environmental, Energy, Safety and Planning-focused organisation, our analyses will be looking at those topics (if mentioned…).

So, lets take a look at Labour…

Brexit

We know, we were only going to look at the four topics mentioned above, but Brexit is crucial to legislation in general, with a good portion of UK law stemming from EU legislation.

Labour insist they will scrap the Brexit White Paper of the Conservatives, and replace it with one with “strong emphasis on retaining the benefits of the Single Market and the Customs Union”. Whilst negotiations are of course able to go either way, the most commonly accepted fact of the Single Market and the EU in general, is they expect all trading countries to abide by the same set of rules.

So far, since the Brexit vote, we have been led to believe that, at least for now, legislation will largely stay the same, i.e. the EU Environmental Obligations, the Working Time Directive etc., will be largely unchanged.

Yet, assuming access to the Single Market and so on is a possibility, it can only be assumed that means anyone wishing to trade, must trade under the same regulatory frameworks. Standards, markings, limitations, all that good stuff.

Planning

The Labour Manifesto contains a section named “Leading Richer Lives”. In this chapter, Local Communities and the Environment are discussed.

Labour make several references to the infrastructure of rural communities, stating they will “invest in broadband, housing and transport to create jobs and ensure that the nation's prosperity is felt beyond our large towns and cities.”

Many readers may have mixed feelings on such a statement. After all, it appears Labour intend to develop rural communities, and many conservationists may question at what point in development does a rural community stop being rural? On the other hand, the opportunity for rural communities to have the benefits of broadband and better transport is bound to be welcomed by those who feel obliged to leave their hometowns and villages in order to acquire suitable housing and transport to live and work.

Labour do insist they will “rural-proof” processes to ensure programmes and policies consider the impact on rural communities.

Transportation needs a mention, with a section devoted to the topic.

Environment

Labour cite poor air quality, fracking in national parks, and funding cuts to flood defences as major failings of the Conservative Government. Their proposed response would be to introduce a new Clean Air Act, safeguards for the “blue belt” surrounding the British Isles, and working with food manufacturers and retailers to reduce food waste. Additionally, they aim to plant 1 million native species trees to encourage biodiversity and flood management.

The Fire and Rescue Services will be given the statutory duty to co-ordinate responses to floods.

Furthermore, guidelines and regulations will be included to protect bees by banning neonicotinoids “as soon as our relationship with the EU allows us” and a pledge to keep the forests under public control.

Labour wish to set up a science innovation fund, and finally, they want to build a relationship with fisheries and farmers to ensure support for those industries.

Energy does not appear to make an appearance in this manifesto, though it must be mentioned that Labour aim to at least keep in line with EU targets, which would include energy efficiency.

Safety

20 points on “Rights at Work” makes no mention of specific safety regulation however the manifesto states “Labour will enforce regulations that save lives”. The UK have one of the best systems of health and safety regulation in the world, so the promise of enforcing those gold standard provisions makes sense, even if the mention does come across as an afterthought.

Conclusion

An ambitious manifesto from a party, with some interesting policies regarding planning and the environment. Much depends on how smoothly Brexit negotiations turn out, and it would be fair to say, the other party manifestos will have similar limitations.

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