Farage vows to freeze immigration as he unveils Reform's core pledges

Is Nigel Farage's 'contract' a serious plan for government or just a policy wish-list designed to take seats away from both the Tories and Labour?

By ITV News Producer Hannah Ward-Glenton

Nigel Farage has promised to freeze immigration and cut taxes as he unveiled Reform UK's core pledges.

The Reform UK leader, who revealed his key pledges at a press conference in the traditional Labour stronghold of Merthyr Tydfil, said his party has a "serious plan to reshape the way our country is run".

The party leader also acknowledged that Reform UK would not form the next government after the July 4 election.

Speaking in South Wales on Monday, he said the party is "not pretending" that Reform UK will win, due to it being "a very, very new political party".

But he did say he has his sights on the next General Election.

“Although this election is for our party, and for me, the first important step on the road to 2029."

Farage confirmed earlier on Monday that he has ambitions to be the UK prime minister by 2029.

The latest polling shows that Labour had an average 20-point lead over the past week, tallying at 41% ahead of the Tories on 21% and Reform on 15%.

Reform UK has focused on immigration, housing, and energy bills in its manifesto - renamed by leader Nigel Farage as a "contract" with the British public.

So what is actually in the manifesto?

The party set out its five core pledges, telling readers to "imagine":

  • "Smart immigrations, no mass migration", which it describes as freezing all "non-essential" immigration;

  • No more small boats in the Channel, achieved by detaining and deporting illegal migrants, and returning small boats to France;

  • No NHS waiting lists, which the party says could be achieved by cutting back "office waste" to save money and tax breaks for doctors and nurses;

  • "Good wages for a hard day's work" - Reform UK wants to lift the income tax starting threshold to £20,000;

  • "Affordable, stable energy bills", which Reform UK believes can be achieved by scrapping energy levies and Net Zero commitments.

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The manifesto also added in some less expected changes, including a 25% tax allowance for married people.

The party has included its funding plans for the policies laid out, and claims it can save £150 billion through its initiatives, while other pledges will add up to a total cost of £141 billion.

On whether his party’s spending pledges would result in cuts to public services, Farage said: “Well cuts to the public sector, I mean, frankly, they’re never in the office anyway are they? It’s work from home, pop into Whitehall a couple of days a week.”

"We're skint!" Reform UK leader Nigel Farage told ITV News Political Correspondent Harry Horton

Unfunded spending has got the UK into a “right pickle”, former Reform UK party leader Richard Tice claimed.


Reform UK has said in its manifesto that it will freeze "non-essential" immigration.

The party says that imposing strict limits on people coming to the UK is the only way to relieve pressure on housing and public services, and to "protect our culture".

It says "essential skills, mainly around healthcare" would be the only exception to migration - but does not provide a conclusive list as to what exactly constitutes an "essential" skill.

The manifesto also pledged to "stop the boats" with a four-point plan, which includes "picking up illegal migrants out of boats and taking them back to France".

They added that migrants could be processed offshore "if necessary". It has also said there will be "no legal aid" for non-citizens arriving in the country and that those rejected "will be returned".

There would also be "immediate deportation" for foreign criminals at the end of their prison sentences and immigrants who commit a crime would have their citizenship withdrawn.

Immigration has become a dominating topic across all parties as a record number of people made the dangerous journey across the English Channel on small boats in 2022, with totals hitting nearly 50,000.


Reform UK says it would lift the income tax threshold to £20,000, meaning people would not start paying tax on their salary until they were earning more than that figure - it currently stands at £12,570.

The party claims this would stop seven million people from paying income tax.

The party also wants to change how businesses are taxed, with plans to lift the minimum profit threshold to £100,000. It says that would "free over 1.2 million small and medium sized businesses from corporation tax".

It wants to lift the VAT threshold to £150,000, which would be an increase from the current £90,000 limit that came into place in April.


Reform UK is pledging to create an education system that "ensures young people are proud of Britain and learn the skills, character, and values to succeed in life".

It is pledging to create "a patriotic curriculum" in primary and secondary schools, which would include making sure that any teaching of European imperialism or slavery "must be paired with the teaching of a non-European occurrence of the same to ensure balance".

Reform UK also wants to ban what it describes as "transgender ideology" in primary and secondary schools and scrap interest on student loans.

It later plans to cut funding to any universities it deems to be "undermining free speech", permanently exclude "violent and disruptive students" - with a doubling in pupil referral units as a place to send those students - and make universities provide two-year undergraduate courses to "reduce student debt".

NHS changes

Reform UK says that it would end the shortage of doctors and nurses by allowing frontline NHS staff to pay zero basic rate tax for three years. The party says this would prevent staff from leaving and "attract many who have left to return".

It wants to use independent and not-for-profit healthcare services in the UK and overseas to increase capacity and provide 20% tax relief for all private healthcare and insurance.


Having been born out of the Brexit Party, it is unsurprising that Reform UK has published Brexit-related policies in its manifesto.

The party wants to legislate to scrap EU regulations and abandon the Windsor Framework, which was established to restore the smooth flow of trade within the UK internal market post-Brexit, and then later prepare for renegotiations on the EU Trade and Cooperation Agreement.

"Reform UK will do what the Tories have failed to - grasp the huge opportunities of Brexit," the party said in its manifesto.

Net Zero

Reform UK has said that Net Zero ambitions are "crippling our economy", and has pledged to ditch the current commitments to bring greenhouse gas emissions to zero and scrap renewable energy subsidies.

It said that in future new technology can help to produce cleaner energy, but said "we must not impoverish ourselves in pursuit of unaffordable, unachievable global CO2 targets".

Reform UK also wants to ban ULEZ Clean Air Zones and Low Traffic Neighbourhoods, which are part of what the party calls the "war on drivers".

"Some people will lose their jobs of course," Reform UK leader Nigel Farage told ITV News Political Correspondent Harry Horton

The Conservatives and Labour are committed to reaching Net Zero - where we don’t emit any more carbon than the planet naturally absorbs by 2050.

The Lib Dems and SNP want to get there by 2045 at the latest - though the Scottish Nationalists were criticised for watering down interim targets.

Other policies

The Reform UK manifesto also laid out the following policies in its "contract" with the nation:

  • Make St George's and St David's Day public holidays - the manifesto specifies that "English" national identity should be officially promote and celebrated. It does not mentioned Welsh national identity, despite highlighting that St David's Day should also be a holiday;

  • A review of the Online Safety Bill - Reform UK says social media giants should have "no role" in regulating free speech;

  • Leave the European Convention on Human Rights;

  • Stop postal votes aside from for the elderly, disabled or those who can't leave their homes because it has "allowed electoral fraud";

  • Scrap the TV license;

  • Change the child benefit system to allow parents to spend more time with their children, because "the majority of mothers would choose to stay at home more if they could", according to the party;

  • Scrap HS2, which Reform UK has described as a "bloated vanity project";

  • Introduce a "British Bill of Rights", which would "codify our freedoms".

A popularity boom

Reform UK membership has spiked considerably since Nigel Farage announced that he would be leading the party on June 3.

Almost 14,000 people joined Reform UK in the seven days after he took over - an uptick of 50% that took membership over 45,000 people, according to figures seen exclusively by ITV News.

But there have also been protests against the party - and Nigel Farage himself.

Objects were thrown at the Reform UK leader last week while he was on the campaign trail in Barnsley, while a 25-year-old woman was arrested on suspicion of assault after a milkshake was thrown at Farage on June 4.

Farage is standing to be an MP in the seaside town of Clacton in Essex.

A challenge for the two main parties?

Both the Conservatives and Labour have played down the threat posed by Reform UK, each suggesting that a vote for Nigel Farage's party is a vote for their respective opposition.

"There's a very clear choice at this election - it's having your taxes cut by the Conservatives or facing significant tax rises with the Labour party," Prime Minister Rishi Sunak told ITV News.

Defence Secretary Grant Shapps warned that a vote for Reform would contribute to a Labour "supermajority".

"If you vote Reform, or any other direction, you will get a Starmer government, it's the only other mathematical outcome of this election," Shapps said on Monday.

The Labour Party echoed the sentiment that the General Election is a two-horse race.

"It's either going to be a Labour government or a Tory government, and that is the choice - there are only two candidates to be prime minister. One of them is Rishi Sunak, and one of them is myself," Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer told ITV News on Monday.

"It's either Conservative or Labour," Defence Secretary Grant Shapps said

Liberal Democrat leader Sir Ed Davey said his party does not share any values with Reform UK.

Asked if Reform is making things harder for the Liberal Democrats, party leader Ed Davey told reporters: “No, we don’t share any values with Reform, I think people know that."

“And they’ve got a right to stand, that’s fine, but I think if you look at the analysis of it they’re not going to win many seats, if any at all frankly."

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