Read the UKIP Leader's response to CaSE's letter, setting out the party's commitments that are relevant to the science and engineering sector ahead of the 2015 Election
In the run-up to the 2015 UK General Election, CaSE has written to the leader of every political partywith at least one MP in Westminster, sending them our election briefings and asking them to set out their manifesto commitments that are relevant to the science and engineering sector.
Below is the response from the leader of UKIP, Nigel Farage.
I can assure you that we take a keen interest in advancing science and technology. To that end UKIP has pledged to abolish tuition fees for STEM degrees for students who work within the UK for the following five years after graduating.
UKIP will be taking up CaSE’s suggestion to require every primary school to nominate a science leader to inspire and equip the next generation. Not only do we believe this is a good way to help address the gender imbalance in the scientific subjects, it will also encourage students onto STEM subjects at university.
As I’m sure you know, UKIP also advocates leaving the European Union and reviewing the wealth of EU regulations and directives as passed into British law. This will obviously include regulations which relate to science and technology issues and which, in our opinion, have been unnecessarily restrictive when it comes to research and/or have hampered smaller-scale research projects which cannot get off the ground because of the cost of the weight of regulation they will have to comply with. I give by way of example, the Clinical Trials Directive. This was intended to simplify and harmonise clinical trials across the EU, but has in fact decimated the number of clinical trials in Britain.
On leaving the EU, UKIP will introduce a points based immigration system which will give priority to those seeking to enter the UK to fill the skills gaps we have in our economy. At the present time, it is therefore likely that those with STEM expertise would be given priority.
We are determined to address the skills shortage in science and engineering and trust these practical polices will address the issue.