Launched Sunday, the Conservative and Unionist Party’s manifesto is the shortest of the three main parties, clocking in at 64 pages.
While a shortened manifesto means some policies might be light on detail – "we will encourage innovative design and technology to make housing more affordable" is one such example – the Tories have proposed a number of digital pledges alongside the Get Brexit Done mantra.
We’ve taken a look at some of the tech-related policies included in the 2019 Conservative manifesto.
The beleaguered National Health Service is one of the biggest talking points of the 2019 election campaign, with every political party promising to put billions more pounds of funding into the NHS.
As part of their NHS pledge, the Tories have stated they plan to “overhaul NHS screening and use new technology and mobile screening services to prevent ill health”. Their manifesto also claims that the party will provide frontline technologies to improve both patient experience and the flexible working for NHS staff.
The party also wants to establish and hold an annual health technology summit, though further details on this event are yet to be outlined.
Before launching their manifesto, the Tory party made a number of announcements about getting tough on crime if they win the election. This is extended to cyber crime, with the manifesto stating that the party will “embrace new technologies and crack down on online crimes”.
Their pledge to tackle cyber crime will be supported through the creation of a new “national cyber crime force” that the party claims will empower the police to safely use new technologies like biometrics and artificial intelligence “within a strict legal framework”.
Full fibre broadband
Not to be left out on making promises around broadband, the Tories pledged to bring full fibre and gigabit-capable broadband to every home and business across the UK by 2025.
This is one of the few manifesto pledges from the Tories that comes with a cost attached: a promise of £5 billion in new public funding to help connect premises which are not currently commercially viable.
The Tories have long been campaigning for immigration reforms in the UK, promising to introduce an “Australian-style points system” once we “get Brexit done.”
In their manifesto, the Tories note that they want to make the UK “a nation of start-ups, and of successful scale-ups” however, many business leaders across the country have previously expressed concerns around what might happen to immigration post-Brexit.
However, reforming immigration could have serious consequences, especially for businesses who typically look to recruit workers from both the UK and abroad.
Back in August, Techworld spoke to a number of business leaders about the potential issues technology startups might face if visa rules were to change after the UK has exited the European Union.
Stan Boland, CEO of FiveAI believes that in the face of these potential changes, it is essential we double our efforts to support tech startups and scaleups.
“A vital part of this is to guarantee access to the global science and technology talent pool,” Boland says. “This is essential if we are to cultivate globally-competitive businesses and produce a much-deserved return on our own academic research assets.”
The Conservative party haven’t explicitly outlined how immigration will look if they win a majority in December, but have outlined their plan to introduce a start-up visa, alongside “new rules for those of exceptional talent” to ensure entrepreneurs still chose to base their startups in the UK.
The party also claims it will support “international collaboration and exchange”, allowing UK teams can recruit the skills and talent they need from abroad.