Even Jacques Delors, the former President of the European Commission and supporter of European integration, agreed that the United Kingdom is justified in rejecting the euro. He questioned the economic advantages of the euro and sympathized with British skepticism (Times Online). If leaders of the single currency are doubtful of its benefits, then why should we rush to convert to the euro? Our goal as Conservatives is greater economic success that benefits everyone, but the euro is a threat to that success (Conservative Party). The United Kingdom is not interested in "surrendering her sovereignty" to a "United States of Europe" ("The Euro Debate"). We have our own issues and priorities such as health care and education that need the attention of local power, not European Union institutions (Wikipedia). We cannot risk the irrevocable process of joining the single currency. Our nonparticipation is our greatest asset.
The European Union has stated that it will pursue a diplomatic and a peaceful resolution to Iran's nuclear proliferation. In response to pressure from the United States and growing United Nations' concerns, the EU has allowed France, Germany, and the United Kingdom to start negotiating with Iran to make certain that the uranium is only for energy purposes. This alliance is known as the EU-3. Our stance on Iran's nuclear proliferation is clearly alongside the course of action with the European Union. We believe that the EU-3 is the best way to resolve the issue concerning Iran. We will continue to support the EU-3 and peaceful resolutions. We believe that the Iraq War was opposed by the majority of British people and will avoid another conflict that does not have the support of this great country.
Supporters of the gasoline tax argue that the tax is necessary to pay for highways. Yet only 20% of gas tax revenue goes to the maintenance of highways ("Petrol price rice announced").
We in the Conservative Party believe that the British people should not have to pay such a ridiculously high gasoline tax. First, we will freeze the gasoline tax at its current rate for five years with no increases even for inflation. We will then study ways to lower it. However, we will not pay for a cut in the gasoline taxes by raising other taxes. We believe that the British people are overtaxed as it is and should not have to pay higher taxes on say, their hard-earned income, just to get a lower gasoline tax. Instead, we will look at what government spending can be eliminated to pay for a cut in the gas tax. We do not intend to lower the tax to U.S. levels, but rather to European levels. Finally, we will make sure that at least 50% of gasoline tax revenue is spent on highway maintenance.
To help the pensioners of the UK, we plan to cut back on unnecessary bureaucracies and spend more money on what matters to the people. We propose to use the savings to reduce the Labour Party's borrowing in order to avoid more tax increases and to use the rest of the savings to lower taxes. (www.conservatives.com) We also plan to abolish the current requirement for people with private pensions to buy annuities at the age of 75 and add increases to the long-term care policy, provided that people do not become dependent on means-tested benefits. We also wish to abolish the New Deal for Young People, New Deal for over 25s, and the New Deal for Lone Parents, which were all expensive failures. (www.conservatives.com)
We a plan to strengthen company pensions by letting companies promote their pension schemes. This can be accomplished by easing the burden of financial regulation so that employers can promote their pension schemes to their employees. We also wish to encourage companies to assume that employees want to join the pension's schemes unless they opt out of the policy.
A record high of 110,700 people, including their dependents, claimed asylum in the UK in 2002. This was the largest number of arrivals to any industrialized nation that year. The United Kingdom received 1.8 applicants per 1,000 residents (Asylum questions: Are we being swamped?). Currently the UK has no system of monitoring immigration (Immigration: Party policies). We, the Conservative party, can rectify the problem at hand. We would start with an annual limit on immigration approved by Parliament (Immigration: Party policies and Tories unveil work permits plan). We would enforce a quota for refugees as well (Immigration: Party policies). We would like a point system which would score candidates on languages, age, work skills, and qualifications before a work permit would be issued (Tories unveil work permits plan). Those seeking work permits will also undergo test for tuberculosis and HIV (Immigration: party policies).
We also believe that the UK should withdraw from the UN Convention on Refugees and elements of European human rights law in order to give our country control over its own policy. And finally we believe that our ports should be more heavily guarded (Immigration: Party policies).
The Conservative Party believes that, "the heart of politics is all about the people - their hopes and aspirations" (Manifesto). If we, as a party, neglect any person or group of people, we fail to achieve these goals. With this, we choose to support the Civil Partnership Act of 2004. Civil partnerships are available only to same-sex couples. "A civil partnership is a relationship between two people of the same sex" (hmso.gov.uk). Couples will be allowed to register their partnership without being required to live together for a minimum length of time and there will be a formal process for dissolving partnerships. Partnerships will entitle same-sex couples to "a range of property rights, the same exemptions as married couples on inheritance tax, social security and pension benefits, and also the ability to get parental responsibility for a partner's children (hmso.gov.uk)" as well as responsibility for reasonable maintenance of one's partner and their children, tenancy rights, full life insurance recognition, and visiting rights in hospitals. We believe that the term marriage should not be tagged to same sex unions. The word marriage not only bears governmental connotations, but it also bears too many cultural and religious references. We opt to respect the sanctity of the word marriage for those reasons. Same sex civil unions will be given all rights afforded "married" couples.
"Conservative Party-Beliefs." http://www.conservatives.com/tile.do?def=party.beliefs.page