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Trade Not Aid: Eradicating Poverty and Securing Britain’s Global Future

UKIP has long believed that trade, not aid, is the most secure route to economic prosperity for the developing world. We will reduce the foreign aid budget and advance free trade deals to the poorest nations to  help lift them out of poverty.
A 2015 World Economic Forum study concluded that in the developing world there was ‘no effect of aid on growth,’ yet UKIP is the only party in this election offering voters a real choice when it comes to foreign aid spending. The others all back spending 0.7 per cent of  our Gross National Income (GNI), regardless  of results.  
When carefully targeted, aid can feed the poor and heal the sick, but regular aid payments may act as a disincentive to economic growth. Between 1970 and 1998, when aid flows to Africa were at their peak, poverty in Africa worsened. Despite receiving over £400 billion in aid over the past forty years, the continent remains poor. 
It is time to consign to history the idea that pouring ever-greater sums into the foreign aid budget is a signal of our virtue. It is a hangover from the era of celebrity-driven politics personified by Tony Blair and David Cameron. In many cases, it can be demonstrated to be doing more harm than good.
Leaving the EU gives us the chance to boost  the fortunes of developing countries by striking Free Trade Agreements with them. UKIP will  make ‘Transition to Trade’ offers to some of the biggest aid recipient nations as we gradually reduce the amount of UK taxpayers’ money we send to them.
UKIP will close down the Department for International Development.  We will repeal the law requiring us to spend 0.7 per cent of GNI on foreign aid and reduce the aid budget to 0.2 per cent of GNI over time. This will save at least £10 billion a year, which we will spend on other priorities, such as the NHS.  A single Minister For Overseas Development working out of the Foreign and Commonwealth Office will administer aid.
This will bring Britain’s aid spending into line with that of other advanced nations, such as the USA. We will still be spending around £4 billion annually, which is more in cash terms than Spain and Italy combined. We will continue to fund projects that make a real difference: clean water programmes, childhood inoculations, medical assistance, and disaster and emergency relief.
We will offer contracts for aid programmes to British providers first, so that we are better able to see what results we get from various programmes and track spending. We will not allow taxpayers’ money to be spent by aid organisations such as the International Rescue Committee, who pay David Miliband a salary of £425,000.
A DEDICATED BRITISH HOSPITAL SHIP British medical expertise and disaster support is among the best in the world. Our help is always welcome in the aftermath of natural disaster, disease epidemic, or famine. To increase the contribution Britain can make in times of global crises, UKIP will commission, equip and staff a Naval Ocean-Going Surgical Hospital (NOSH). 
As 95 per cent of the world’s largest 100 cities are port cities, and 90 per cent of the world’s population live within 200 miles of the sea, this will be an extremely useful way to deliver large-scale relief to our armed forces on active  operational duties, to civilians and refugees in  war zones, or to undertake humanitarian  missions in peacetime. The new ship will also provide useful reinforcement in case of emergencies here at home.
The new NOSH will have at least 500 beds, a flight deck and large hangar to support several helicopters, as well as vehicle decks. It will be a highly visible ambassador for Britain, and will replace the Royal Navy’s current sea-borne medical capability, RFA ARGUS, which is set to retire in 2020. It will not carry weapons, giving it the full protection of the Geneva Convention in times of war.  
This flagship project will help confirm  Britain’s status as a force for good in the  world, while simultaneously expanding our naval capabilities. 
ETHICAL TRADE WILL ERADICATE POVERTY UKIP will not be sorry to see the back of the EU’s morally repugnant trade tariff regime. It has blatantly accentuated poverty in some of the poorest nations on earth. African farmers, for example, may export raw cocoa beans to the 
EU without paying any tariffs, but if they want to export chocolate, tariffs are high. It is the same with coffee. In 2014, the whole of Africa made just under £1.6 billion from raw coffee bean exports, but Germany alone made £2.6 billion just by exporting roasted beans, despite not growing a single coffee crop.
UKIP will seek to support the economies, infrastructure development, education, health, agriculture and trading capacity of developing nations. We will not engage in unethical trade practices that harm or inhibit their trade, traditional lifestyles, or natural resources. This will be a far better way to help developing nations lift themselves out of poverty and become selfsufficient. Even Bono has now admitted it.
THE WORLD IS OUR OYSTER Of all the insults thrown at the Leave campaign by the Remain camp, one of the most ludicrous was the ‘little Englanders’ taunt. The polar opposite is true: those who voted for Brexit could see a brighter, more global and economically successful future outside the confines of a contracting and ever-more protectionist EU.
Our focus on trade, not aid, means we can establish ethical relationships with developing countries by assisting agriculture and industrial growth, rather than simply sending money that is likely to be abused and misspent by dubious regimes. 
For decades our EU membership has been a factor in our diluted economic growth, flat-lining wages, and diminishing influence on the world stage. In future, we shall have wider and easier access to overseas markets. For British consumers, choice will increase, prices will fall, and we will not be so reliant upon monopoly suppliers. Increased competition is likely to fuel innovation and offer opportunities for the transfer of expertise and technology, which in turn means more jobs, and a stronger economy.
Leaving the EU is not about becoming ‘little Englanders,’ it is about putting the ‘Great’ back into Great Britain. It is about embracing new trading markets in all seven continents of the globe.
Naturally, we should like to agree a Free Trade Agreement (FTA) with the EU, and continue to trade on the same basis as at present. As the UK is the EU’s largest single export market, the EU should want to reach a swift and sensible trade deal with us. However, if the EU continues to 
make unreasonable demands in return for even talking about free trade, then we must be prepared to walk away. 
In circumstances where the EU continues to insist Britain pay a huge ‘divorce’ settlement of up to €100 billion, or continues to demand we accept the on-going jurisdiction of the European Court of Justice and allow the free movement of people, trading with the EU within the legal framework of the World Trade Organisation (WTO) would be the far better option. 
Not having an FTA with the EU will not prevent our trading with EU businesses, so talk of a ‘cliff edge’ is pure hyperbole. Neither could we ‘crash out’ of the EU, because trade is not going to stop, whatever happens. It should also be remembered that the EU is itself a member of the WTO and subject to its rules, so therefore extremely limited in any hostile action it could take against Britain. Trading on WTO terms will never be a ‘punishment’ option, but may be an economically sound choice.
OUR TRADE PRINCIPLES Post-Brexit, UKIP’s aim is to establish the UK on the world market as a low tax, low regulation economy. The UK  will contribute to the World Trade Organisation’s aim for trade to flow as smoothly, predictably and freely as possible. We will reduce tariffs wherever possible, unless initiating anti-dumping measures, and oppose the establishment and continuance of protectionist customs unions such as the EU.
The sooner we can start making our own free trade deals with countries around the world, the better. Leaving the EU is a win-win situation for UK trade, our global business partners, and developing nations. Countries are already queuing up to make trade deals with Britain: we can only hope work is already underway to negotiate, conclude, sign and ratify those deals so they that can come into effect on day one after Brexit.