Nigel Farage has called for a cap on immigration, a 50% cut in the foreign aid budget and the scrapping of HS2 as he set out the Brexit Party’s policy platform for the General Election.

Launching the party’s “contract with the people”, Mr Farage said all the party’s demands were underpinned by the need to secure a “clean-break Brexit” with the EU.

While he acknowledged they were not seeking election as the next government, he said they were committing to achieving the Brexit which people voted for in the 2016 referendum.

“A clean-break Brexit can shape the future of our economy and society,” he said.

Brexit Party leader Nigel Farage during the party’s policy launch in Westminster, London
Nigel Farage during the Brexit Party’s policy launch in Westminster (Dominic Lipinski/PA)

“It will give us the freedom to shape our future by taking immediate control of our own laws, borders, money, fishing and defence.”

The policy document calls for:

– Scrapping the BBC licence fee

– Allowing citizens to call referendums if five million people agree

– Abolishing inheritance tax

– Investing £2.5 billion in fishing and coastal communities

– Giving businesses zero-rate corporation tax for the first £10,000 of pre-tax profits

– Abolishing privatisation in the NHS

– Establishing 24-hour GP surgeries

While the Brexit Party is not standing candidates in Conservative-held constituencies, Mr Farage said it was important they took seats to ensure the Tories did not backtrack on their commitments.

“We need the Brexit Party to hold Boris Johnson to his word,” he said.

“We need the Brexit Party voice there in the House of Commons or we’re not going to get anything like what we voted for three-and-a-half years ago.”

Mr Farage said their plans could be paid for by £200 billion of savings by cutting the foreign aid budget, ceasing EU payments and scrapping the HS2 high-speed rail link.

On immigration, he said the UK was facing a “population crisis” as a result of the policies which had been adopted in the 1990s.

He said the numbers allowed to settle in the country should be capped at “about 50,000” a year and he called for firm action to deter illegal immigrants trying to enter the country.

“We would very much want to get immigration numbers down to what for 60 years were very acceptable and very workable post-war levels,” he said.

“We think a strong message that says if you come here illegally across the Channel or in the back of a container that you wouldn’t be allowed to stay will prevent further human tragedy, and it’s the right thing to do.”