Should the government require children to be vaccinated for preventable diseases?

The Vaccination rate in the UK has declined significantly since the MMR-autism controversy began in 1998. The vaccination rate has decreased to 80% from 92% in 1997. In 1998, there were 56 measles cases in the UK. In 2008, there were 1348 cases, with two confirmed deaths.

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Do you support the use of nuclear energy?

As of August 2022, the UK has 9 operational nuclear reactors at five locations (8 advanced gas-cooled reactors (AGR) and one pressurised water reactor (PWR)), producing 5.9 GWe. It also has nuclear reprocessing plants at Sellafield and the Tails Management Facility (TMF) operated by Urenco in Capenhurst. In November 2022 French President Emmanuel Macron pledged to engage in “ambitious cooperation” with Prime Minister Rishi Sunak on nuclear energy amid fears that fuel imports from Russia will plummet this winter.

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Should the London Underground be considered an "essential service" which would ban all future worker strikes?

An “essential service” classification prevents employees of a government service from staging full-scale strikes and walkouts. Services with the classification are required by law to provide minimum services during periods of industrial action. Proponents of the proposal argue that strikes by underground workers cause significant disruption to the country’s economy and people’s lives. Opponents argue that the proposal would prevent workers from exercising their rights.

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Should the national railway be privatised?

Currently UK trains are operated by private franchises and the tracks are operated by the government. Proponents argue that the system would run more efficiently if the tracks and trains were operated by private entities. Opponents of privatization claim that a single government train system would end the disruptions caused by the fractured franchise system.

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Do you support the construction of a high speed railway (HS2) connecting London to Birmingham?

High Speed 2 is a planned high-speed railway between London Euston to central Scotland. The project is being developed by High Speed Two Ltd, a company limited by guarantee established by the UK government. Four major city centres shall be served directly: London, Birmingham, Leeds and Manchester. From November 2021 to June 2022 substantial parts of HS2 were dropped. As part of the Integrated Rail Plan for the North and Midlands it was announced that most of the eastern leg of phase 2b from Birmingham via the East Midlands to Leeds/York would be dropped. Supporters of the project believe that the additional capacity and reliability provided by HS2 will cater for pre-COVID rising passenger numbers while driving further modal shift to rail. Opponents believe that the project is neither environmentally nor financially sustainable.

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Should the government increase spending on public transportation?

In the 2021/22 financial year, the government of the United Kingdom spent approximately 25.2 billion British pounds on Railways, compared with 6.6 billion on local roads, 5.5 billion on local public transport, 5.4 billion on national roads, and 2.4 billion on other forms of transport.

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Do you support the legalisation of same sex marriage?

The Marriage (Same Sex Couples) Act 2013 is an Act of the Parliament of the United Kingdom which introduced same-sex marriage in England and Wales. The Act enables same sex couples to marry in civil ceremonies; ensures those religious organizations which wish to do so can opt in to marry; protects religious organisations and their representatives from successful legal, challenge if they do not wish to marry same sex couples; enables civil partners to convert their partnership to a marriage and enables individuals to change their legal gender without having to end their marriage.

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Should gay couples have the same adoption rights as straight couples?

LGBT adoption is the adoption of children by lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) persons. Same-sex couples in the United Kingdom (not including Scotland) have had the right to adopt since 2002, following the Adoption and Children Act 2002.The previous condition that the couple be married was dropped, thus allowing a same-sex couple to apply. Opponents of LGBT adoption question whether same-sex couples have the ability to be adequate parents while other opponents question whether natural law implies that children of adoption possess a natural right to be raised by heterosexual parents. Since constitutions and statutes usually fail to address the adoption rights of LGBT persons, judicial decisions often determine whether they can serve as parents either individually or as couples.

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Do you support the death penalty?

The death penalty or capital punishment is the punishment by death for a crime. Currently 58 countries worldwide allow the death penalty (including the U.S.) while 97 countries have outlawed it. The Murder (Abolition of Death Penalty) Act 1965 is an Act of the Parliament of the United Kingdom. It abolished the death penalty for murder in Great Britain (the death penalty for murder survived in Northern Ireland until 1973). The act replaced the penalty of death with a mandatory sentence of imprisonment for life.

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What is your stance on abortion?

Abortion is a medical procedure resulting in the termination of a human pregnancy and death of a fetus. In the UK abortion is legal in the first 6 months of pregnancy as long as the procedure is carried out in a hospital and women have the approval of two doctors. Abortion is currently illegal in Northern Ireland.

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Should businesses be required to have women on their board of directors?

In December 2014, the German government announced a new rule which would require German companies to fill 30% of their board seats with women. In 2016 women in the U.K. hold fewer less than 22.8 percent of board jobs which is a 10% increase from 2011. This is higher than Canada (20.8%) and less than Australia (23.6%). In Norway 35.5% of boards contain women directors which is the highest percentage in the world. In 2022 the UK’s Financial Conduct Authority announced that women should make up at least 40% of boards at British listed companies and one director should be a person of colour.

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Should people under the age of 18 years old be able to receive gender-transition treatments?

In November 2020 three high court judges ruled that children aged under 16 will need court approval in England and Wales to access puberty blockers. In September 2021 the ruling was overturned when the Tavistock and Portman NHS foundation trust, which runs NHS England’s only gender identity development service (GIDS) for children, successfully challenged the case. In July 2022 the NHS announced it was shutting down its gender identity clinic for young people because it has been “rushing children into life-altering treatment.”

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Should schools be allowed to require mandatory diversity training for teachers and faculty?

Diversity training is any program designed to facilitate positive intergroup interaction, reduce prejudice and discrimination, and generally teach individuals who are different from others how to work together effectively. On April 22, 2022, Florida Governor DeSantis signed into law the “Individual Freedom Act.” The bill prohibited schools and companies from mandating diversity training as a requirement for attendance or employment. If schools or employers violated the law they would be exposed to expanded civil liability exposures. Banned mandatory training topics include: 1. Members of one race, color, sex, or national origin are morally superior to members of another. 2. An individual, by virtue of his or her race, color, sex, or national origin, is inherently racist, sexist, or oppressive, whether consciously or unconsciously. Shortly after Governor DeSantis signed the bill, a group of individuals filed a lawsuit alleging that the law imposes unconstitutional viewpoint-based restrictions on speech in violation of their First and Fourteenth Amendment rights.

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Should companies be allowed to require mandatory diversity training for employees?

Diversity training is any program designed to facilitate positive intergroup interaction, reduce prejudice and discrimination, and generally teach individuals who are different from others how to work together effectively. On April 22, 2022, Florida Governor DeSantis signed into law the “Individual Freedom Act.” The bill prohibited schools and companies from mandating diversity training as a requirement for attendance or employment. If schools or employers violated the law they would be exposed to expanded civil liability exposures. Banned mandatory training topics include: 1. Members of one race, color, sex, or national origin are morally superior to members of another. 2. An individual, by virtue of his or her race, color, sex, or national origin, is inherently racist, sexist, or oppressive, whether consciously or unconsciously. Shortly after Governor DeSantis signed the bill, a group of individuals filed a lawsuit alleging that the law imposes unconstitutional viewpoint-based restrictions on speech in violation of their First and Fourteenth Amendment rights.

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Should terminally ill patients be allowed to end their lives via assisted suicide?

Currently, assisted suicide (Euthanasia) is illegal in all countries of the United Kingdom. However, as a devolved matter to the Scottish parliament, it is possible that at some point in the future different laws on euthanasia could apply within the UK.

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Should hate speech be protected by freedom of speech laws?

Hate speech laws in England and Wales are found in several statutes. Expressions of hatred toward someone on account of that person’s colour, race, sex, disability, nationality (including citizenship), ethnic or national origin, religion, gender reassignment, or sexual orientation is forbidden. Any communication which is threatening or abusive, and is intended to harass, alarm, or distress someone is forbidden. The penalties for hate speech include fines, imprisonment, or both. The Police and CPS have formulated a definition of hate crimes and hate incidents, with hate speech forming a subset of these. Something is a hate incident if the victim or anyone else think it was motivated by hostility or prejudice based on: disability, race, religion, gender identity or sexual orientation. A hate incident becomes a hate crime if it crosses the boundary of criminality.

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Should transgender athletes be allowed to compete against athletes that differ from their assigned sex at birth?

In 2016 the International Olympic committee ruled that transgender athletes can compete in the Olympics without undergoing sex reassignment surgery. In 2018 the International Association of Athletics Federations, track’s governing body, ruled that women who have more than 5 nano-mols per liter of testosterone in their blood—like South African sprinter and Olympic gold medalist Caster Semenya—must either compete against men, or take medication to reduce their natural testosterone levels. The IAAF stated that women in the five-plus category have a “difference of sexual development.” The ruling cited a 2017 study by French researchers as proof that female athletes with testosterone closer to men do better in certain events: 400 meters, 800 meters, 1,500 meters, and the mile. "Our evidence and data show that testosterone, either naturally produced or artificially inserted into the body, provides significant performance advantages in female athletes," said IAAF President Sebastian Coe in a statement.

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Should the military allow women to serve in combat roles?

In 2015 David Cameron ordered the Ministry of Defence to be ready to welcome female soldiers into "close combat" roles next year. Proponents argue that it will help the military retain more women, who tend to leave the services permanently when they have children. Opponents argue that allowing women to serve in these roles would limit the military's ability to fight in combat situations.

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Should schools be allowed to require mandatory diversity training for students?

Diversity training is any program designed to facilitate positive intergroup interaction, reduce prejudice and discrimination, and generally teach individuals who are different from others how to work together effectively. On April 22, 2022, Florida Governor DeSantis signed into law the “Individual Freedom Act.” The bill prohibited schools and companies from mandating diversity training as a requirement for attendance or employment. If schools or employers violated the law they would be exposed to expanded civil liability exposures. Banned mandatory training topics include: 1. Members of one race, color, sex, or national origin are morally superior to members of another. 2. An individual, by virtue of his or her race, color, sex, or national origin, is inherently racist, sexist, or oppressive, whether consciously or unconsciously. Shortly after Governor DeSantis signed the bill, a group of individuals filed a lawsuit alleging that the law imposes unconstitutional viewpoint-based restrictions on speech in violation of their First and Fourteenth Amendment rights.

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Should women be allowed to wear a Niqāb, or face veil, to civic ceremonies?

Several Western countries including France, Spain and Canada have proposed laws which would ban Muslim women from wearing a Niqab in public spaces. A niqab is a cloth that covers the face and is worn by some Muslim women in public areas. In January 2016 David Cameron proposed banning Muslim women from wearing veils in schools, courts and other British institutions. Proponents argue that the ban infringes on individual rights and prevents people from expressing their religious beliefs. Opponents argue that face-coverings prevent the clear identification of a person, which is both a security risk, and a social hindrance within a society which relies on facial recognition and expression in communication.

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Should frozen embryos be considered children?

An embryo is an initial stage of development of a multicellular organism. In humans, embryonic development is the part of the life cycle that begins just after fertilization of the female egg cell by the male sperm cell. In vitro fertilization (IVF) is a process of fertilization where an egg is combined with sperm in vitro ("in glass").  In February 2024 the Supreme Court in the U.S. state of Alabama ruled that frozen embryos can be considered children under the state’s Wrongful Death of a Minor Act. The 1872 law allowed parents to recover punitive damages in the event of a child’s death. The Supreme Court case was brought by several couples whose embryos were destroyed when a patient dropped them on the floor in a fertility clinic’s cold-storage section. The court ruled that nothing in the law’s language stops it from being applied to frozen embryos. A dissenting judge on the court wrote that the ruling would force IVF providers in Alabama to stop freezing embryos. After the ruling several major health systems in Alabama suspended all IVF treatments. Proponents of the ruling include ant-abortion advocates who argue that embryos in test tubes should be considered children. Opponents include abortion rights advocates who argue that the ruling is based on Christian religious beliefs and is an assault on women’s rights.

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Should the minimum voting age be lowered?

The voting age for local elections in England, including mayoral and police and crime commissioner elections, is 18. The UK Government has no plans to lower the voting age for local elections in England. Scotland and Wales lowered the voting age to 16 for local and devolved elections.

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Should foreigners, currently residing in the United Kingdom, have the right to vote?

In order to vote in the UK a person must be 18 years old on election day and a be either a British, qualifying Commonwealth citizen or a citizen of the Republic of Ireland. In 2022 the government passed a law that allowed British nationals living overseas for more than 15 years to vote in UK general elections. The law could give the right to 3 million Britons retired or working abroad.

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Should political candidates be required to release their recent tax returns to the public?

A tax return is a document which states how much income an individual or entity reported to the government. In the UK these documents are considered private and are not released to the public. After David Cameron was named in the 2016 Panama Papers scandal top MP’s including Chancellor George Osborne and Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn published details of their tax returns. The UK Electoral Commission does not require individuals running for public offices to release them. In Sweden, Norway and Finland citizen’s and candidate’s tax records are considered public information and are published on the internet.

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Should politicians over 75 years of age have required to pass a mental competency test?

Countries that have mandatory retirements for politicians include Argentina (age 75), Brazil (75 for judges and prosecutors), Mexico (70 for judges and prosecutors) and Singapore (75 for members of parliament.)

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Should corporations, unions, and non-profit organizations be allowed to donate to political parties?

In the UK there are no limits on the amount of donations a political party may receive. Political parties may only accept donations over £200 from registered voters, party members, companies, trade union or a building society. Political parties may only spend £30,000 for each constituency that it contests in a general election. If a party ran a candidate in each of the 650 UK constituencies, its maximum spend would total £19.5m.

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Should a politician, who has been formerly convicted of a crime, be allowed to run for office?

In 2017 Local Government Minister Marcus Jones set out plans to strengthen rules to prevent anyone found guilty of serious crimes from serving on local councils. Under the planned changes to criteria, it would ensure those who represent their communities are held to the highest possible standards. Current rules make clear that anyone convicted of an offence carrying a prison sentence of more than 3 months is banned from serving as a local councilor. Under the Representation of the People Act 1981, people are disqualified from becoming a member of the House of Commons if they have been found guilty of an offence and sentenced to more than one year in prison, and are currently detained as a result of that offence. Once they are released from prison, they are not prevented from standing for election as an MP.

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Should the government hire private companies to run prisons?

Since the early 1990s, British Governments have issued contracts to private firms for both the construction and the day-to-day running of prisons. The privatization of some prison services was pursued to cope with the problems of overcrowding in the UK’s prisons and to spread the costs of interning offenders. There are currently 14 private prisons in the U.K. who house around 15% of the prison population. Opponents argue that the concept of prison care is antithetical to the notion of commercial business and that it is morally inappropriate to profit from the punishment of offenders. Proponents argue that private prisons are are incentivised to operate more efficiently and can bring benefits to U.K. taxpayer.

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Should police departments be allowed to use military grade equipment?

Most British police officers (except in Northern Ireland) are not routinely armed. Instead, they rely on specially trained Authorised Firearms Officers (AFO) to attend incidents where firearms are necessary. Specialist Firearms Officers are usually trained to a higher standard than AFOs, because they are likely to be required to enter besieged premises. The vast majority of firearms used by British police are semi-automatic. The most common firearms employed by British armed units are the Glock 17 9mm pistol, the Heckler and Koch (H&K) MP5SF 9mm (single fire) carbine and the H&K G36C (single fire) 5.56mm carbine. Walther P99 - carried by Nottinghamshire Police AFOs.

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Should drug traffickers receive the death penalty?

The Murder (Abolition of Death Penalty) Act 1965 is an Act of the Parliament of the United Kingdom. It abolished the death penalty for murder in Great Britain (the death penalty for murder survived in Northern Ireland until 1973). The act replaced the penalty of death with a mandatory sentence of imprisonment for life. In the U.K. citizens may be charged with possessing an illegal substance if they are caught with drugs, whether they’re yours or not. If someone is under 18, the police are allowed to tell your parent, guardian or carer that you’ve been caught with drugs. Your penalty will depend on the class and quantity of drug.

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Should convicted criminals have the right to vote?

Felony disenfranchisement is the exclusion from voting of people otherwise eligible to vote due to conviction of a criminal offense, usually restricted to the more serious class of crimes deemed felonies. Prisoners cannot vote while in jail in India but can vote when they are released (even if they are convicted of a felony.)

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Should funding for local police departments be redirected to social and community based programs?

“Defund the police” is a slogan that supports divesting funds from police departments and reallocating them to non-policing forms of public safety and community support, such as social services, youth services, housing, education, healthcare and other community resources.

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Should non-violent prisoners be released from jail in order to reduce overcrowding?

Public Health England urged the Government in April 2020 to reduce it by 15,000 prisoners. Healthcare officials advised that an end to sharing cells was the most effective protection against the virus. Within six months of the warning, however, there were only 4,005 fewer people in prison, falling more than 10,000 short of the recommended reduction. Experts have expressed concerns about the future of prisons in England and Wales. Overcrowding in cells has been linked to an increase in poor mental health as thousands of prisoners must eat, sleep and use the toilet in one shared space. Overcrowding has also been linked to increased rates of violence, suicide and self-harm.

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Should the U.K. raise taxes on the rich?

The top tax rate in the UK is 45%. For the 2022/23 tax year, if you live in England, Wales or Northern Ireland, there are three marginal income tax bands – the 20% basic rate, the 40% higher rate and the 45% additional rate. Marginal bands mean you only pay the specified tax rate on that portion of salary. For example, if your salary puts you in the 40% tax bracket, then you only pay 40% tax on the segment of earnings in that income tax band. For the lower part of your earnings, you’ll still pay the appropriate 20% or 0%. If you live in Scotland, there are five marginal income tax bands – the starter rate of 19%, the 20% basic rate, the 21% intermediate rate, the 41% higher rate and the 46% additional rate.

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Should the government raise the national minimum wage?

Tabled in 2015, and officially introduced in 2016, the National Living Wage is a wage scheme designed to be higher than the minimum wage. It applies to all those aged 23 and up who are not in the first year of an apprenticeship. From 1 April 2022, the National Living Wage stands at £9.50 per hour. For the vast majority of workers in the UK, the minimum wage in 2022 will see increases across the board across each relevant age range. That includes wages for 16-17-year-olds (£4.81 with a 4.1% increase), 18-20-year-olds (£6.83 with a 4.1% increase) and 21-22-year-olds (£9.18 with a 9.8% increase).

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Should homeowners pay higher taxes on "mansions" valued over £2m?

Currently, the UK does not tax residential property on an annual basis. The "Mansion Tax" is a proposed annual property tax on homes valued at or over £2 million that would increase tax revenue to allow for a decrease in tax rate for low earners. Proposals estimate that properties valued between £2m and £3m would pay £3,000 per annum, but properties over £3m would pay considerably more. Commentators have suggested that in order to raise the projected £1.2bn, the Mansion Tax payable on homes over £3m would have to be £28,000.

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Do you support a universal basic income program?

A Universal Basic Income program is social security program where all citizens of a country receive a regular, unconditional sum of money from the government. The funding for Universal Basic Income comes from taxation and government owned entities including income from endowments, real estate and natural resources. Several countries, including Finland, India and Brazil, have experimented with a UBI system but have not implemented a permanent program. The longest running UBI system in the world is the Alaska Permanent Fund in the U.S. state of Alaska. In the Alaska Permanent Fund each individual and family receives a monthly sum that is funded by dividends from the state’s oil revenues. Proponents of UBI argue that it will reduce or eliminate poverty by providing everyone with a basic income to cover housing and food. Opponents argue that a UBI would be detrimental to economies by encouraging people to either work less or drop out of the workforce entirely.

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Should the top tax rate of income over £150,000 be raised to 50 percent?

The current tax rate for individuals making over £150,001 per year is 38% for dividend income, 45% for saving income and 45% for other income.

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Should the U.K. raise or lower the tax rate for corporations?

On 23 September 2022, the government announced that the increase in the Corporation Tax main rate to 25% and the introduction of a small profits rate of tax from 1 April 2023. The U.S. currently taxes corporations at 21%, France at 26.5% and Germany at 15%.

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Do you support a 32-hour work week?

In November 2019 shadow chancellor John McDonnell stated that the Labour party would introduce a 32-hour work week policy if they gained the majority in the General Election. Workers in the UK would be classified as working “full-time” if they worked 32 hours. The policy would also apply to government workers including those in the NHS. Opponents of the plan, including the Conservative Party, argue that the plan would increase staff costs at the NHS by £6.1bn a year.

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Do you believe labor unions help or hurt the economy?

Union membership in the UK began declining steeply in the 1980s and 1990s, falling from 13 million in 1979 to around 7.3 million in 2000. In September 2012 union membership dropped below 6 million for the first time since the 1940s. Union members include nurses, school meals staff, hospital cleaners, professional footballers, shop assistants, teaching assistants, bus drivers, engineers and apprentices.

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Should there be fewer or more restrictions on current welfare benefits?

In 2021/22 the UK government is expected to spend approximately 216 billion British pounds on benefits, an increase of around three million pounds when compared with the previous year. A single unemployed adult aged 25 or over receives a monthly benefit payment of 325 pounds ($439). In January 2022 the British government announced it would tighten rules for some people claiming unemployment benefits. Currently job seekers receiving state benefits can spend up to three months looking purely for work similar to their previous job, but this will soon be reduced to four weeks, the Department for Work and Pensions said.

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Should child benefits be restricted to a maximum of two children?

Currently, there is no cap on child benefit. £21.80 a week for your first child and £14.45 a week for any children after that. More than 80% of children are in families also eligible for means-tested child tax credit.

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Should the government make cuts to public spending in order to reduce the national debt?

UK general government gross debt was £2,365.4 billion at the end of Quarter 1 (Jan to Mar) 2022, equivalent to 99.6% of gross domestic product (GDP). UK general government deficit (or net borrowing) was £15.8 billion in Quarter 1 2022, equivalent to 2.6% of GDP. In 2022 British government debt rose to its highest level in almost 60 years. Government borrowing increased to 20 billion pounds in September, 2.2 billion pounds more than in September 2021 and 5.2 billion pounds more than forecast in March by the independent Office for Budget Responsibility, the ONS said.

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Should the government abolish the inheritance tax?

The inheritance tax is a tax on money and possessions you pass on when you die. A certain amount can be passed on tax-free, which is called the "tax-free allowance" or "nil rate band". The current tax-free allowance is £325,000 which has not changed since 2011 and is fixed at that rate until at least 2017. The inheritance tax is an emotionally charged issue as it comes up during a time of loss and mourning.

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Should welfare recipients be tested for drugs?

5 U.S. states have passed laws requiring welfare recipients to be tested for drugs. The UK does not currently test welfare recipients for drugs. Proponents argue that testing will prevent public funds from being used to subsidize drugs habits and help get treatment for those that are addicted to drugs. Opponents argue that it is a waste of money since the tests will cost more money than they save.

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Should the government provide free broadband to all UK homes and businesses?

In November 2019 the UK Labour Party promised that if it won a majority in the upcoming general election it would provide free full-fiber broadband to every home and business the UK by the year 2030. Under the plan the government would nationalize the digital arm of BT (Openreach) and provide over 95% of UK residents with broadband. Currently 7% of households in the U.K. have access to full-fiber broadband. The plan would cost an estimated £230m a year and would be funded by a new tax on large technology companies including Apple and Google. Opponents (including the Conservatives, Lib Dems and SNP) argue that the plan is too expensive. Boris Johnson stated that the plan would cost £60bn more over ten years than what Labour is projecting. Proponents argue that privately run broadband companies have left the UK behind other countries and the government should take over.

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Should tenants receive less benefits if they live in a housing association or council property with more bedrooms than occupants?

The Bedroom Tax (also known as Spare Room Subsidy) is a change to Housing Benefit Entitlement that restricts housing benefits for tenants of working age (16-61) living in a housing association or council property that is deemed to have one or more spare bedrooms. Tenants with one spare bedroom lose 14% of entitled housing benefit and those with two or more spare bedrooms lose 25% of entitlement. Possible exemptions exist for tenants receiving a state pension, rent a shared ownership property, have a severely disabled child who requires their own room, have a foster child, or have a child how is on duty in the armed forces.

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Should the United Kingdom transition to a four-day workweek?

Countries including Ireland, Scotland, Japan, and Sweden are experimenting with a four-day workweek, which requires employers to provide overtime pay to employees working more than 32 hours per week.

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Should bankers’ bonuses be capped at 100% of their pay?

n 2014 the EU passed legislation that capped bankers’ bonuses at 100% of their pay or 200% with shareholder approval. Proponents of the cap say that it will reduce incentives for bankers to take excessive risk similar to what led to the 2008 financial crisis. Opponents say that any cap on banker’s pay will push up non-bonus pay and cause bank’s costs to rise.

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Should citizens be allowed to save or invest their money in offshore bank accounts?

An offshore (or foreign) bank account is a bank account you have outside of your country of residence. The benefits of an offshore bank account include tax reduction, privacy, currency diversification, asset protection from lawsuits, and reducing your political risk. In April 2016, Wikileaks released 11.5 million confidential documents, known as the Panama Papers, which provided detailed information on 214,000 offshore companies serviced by the Panamanian Law Firm, Mossack Fonesca. The document exposed how world leaders and wealthy individuals hide money in secret offshore tax shelters. The release of the documents renewed proposals for laws banning the use of offshore accounts and tax havens. Proponents of the of the ban argue they should be outlawed because they have a long history of being vehicles for tax evasion, money laundering, illicit arms dealing and funding terrorism. Opponents of the ban argue that punitive regulations will make it harder for American companies to compete and will further discourage businesses from locating and investing in the United States.

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Should foreign visitors have to pay for emergency medical treatment during their stay in the UK?

Overseas visitors to the UK are currently charged for hospital visits, dental treatments and prescription drugs. People working for UK-based employers and students on courses of at least six months duration are entitled to at least some NHS hospital treatment free of charge. The government had considered charging for GP consultations, but decided that easy initial access was important to prevent risks to public health such as HIV, TB and sexually transmitted infections.

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Should there be more or less privatisation of the NHS?

The National Health Service is the publicly funded national healthcare system for the UK. It provides mostly free healthcare to all legal English residents. In 2015 the NHS spent 10% of its budget on private providers.

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Should cities open drug “safe havens” where people who are addicted to illegal drugs can use them under the supervision of medical professionals?

In 2018, officials in the U.S. city of Philadelphia city proposed opening a “safe haven” in an effort to combat the city's heroin epidemic. In 2016 64,070 people died in the U.S. from drug overdoses - a 21% increase from 2015. 3/4 of drug overdose deaths in the U.S. are caused by the opioid class of drugs which includes prescription painkillers, heroin and fentanyl. To combat the epidemic cities including Vancouver, BC and Sydney, AUS opened safe havens where addicts can inject drugs under the supervision of medical professionals. The safe havens reduce the overdose death rate by insuring the addicted patients are given drugs that are not contaminated or poisoned. Since 2001 5,900 people have overdosed at a safe haven in Sydney, Australia but no one has died. Proponents argue that the safe havens are the only proven solution to lower the overdose fatality rate and prevent the spread of diseases like HIV-AIDS. Opponents argue that safe havens may encourage illegal drug use and re-direct funding from traditional treatment centers.

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Should private firms reimburse the NHS if they exceed a 5% profit on contracts?

Ed Miliband launched Labour’s election campaign with a promise to cap the amount of profit a private contractor can make from NHS contracts. Under the proposal private firms would be limited to profit margins of 5% on all contracts above £500,000. Proponents argue that the plan will stop the NHS’s "drive to privatisation." Opponents argue that limiting private contractor’s profits will make it harder for the NHS to keep up with rising demand for care.

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Should the government require employees of large businesses to be vaccinated from COVID?

In September 2021 Italy became the first European Country to make COVID-19 health passes mandatory for all workers. By the end of the same month Canada, the United States, Australia, Kazakhstan, Saudi Arabia and Turkmenistan all announced similar vaccine mandates. Proponents of the mandate argue that these mandates are the only way to end the global COVID-19 pandemic. Opponents cite evidence that people who already have natural immunity are at heightened risk of vaccine side effects caused by an augmented inflammatory response.

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Should medical boards penalize doctors who give health advice that contradicts contemporary scientific consensus?

In 2022 lawmakers in the U.S. state of California passed legislation which empowered the state medical board to discipline doctors in the state who “disseminate misinformation or disinformation” that contradicts the “contemporary scientific consensus” or is “contrary to the standard of care.” Proponents of the law argue that doctors should be punished for spreading misinformation and that there is clear consensus on certain issues such as that apples contain sugar, measles is caused by a virus, and Down syndrome is caused by a chromosomal abnormality. Opponents argue that the law limits freedom of speech and scientific “consensus” often changes within mere months.

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Should the government increase funding for mental health research and treatment?

The NHS provides mental health services free of charge. From 2019 to 2023 mental health is in line to get £2.3bn of the extra £20bn going on the NHS.

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Do you support the legalisation of Marijuana?

The UK government currently bans the sale and possession of all forms of marijuana. Medical cannabis is legal for cases of severe epilepsy, vomiting or nausea caused by chemotherapy or multiple sclerosis.

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Should the government fund the World Health Organization?

The World Health Organization was founded in 1948 and is a specialized agency of the United Nations whose main objective is “the attainment by all peoples of the highest possible level of health.” The organization provides technical assistance to countries, sets international health standards and guidelines, and collects data on global health issues through the World Health Survey. The WHO has led global public health efforts including the development of an Ebola Vaccine and the near-eradication of polio and smallpox. The organization is run by a decision-making body composed of representatives from 194 countries. It is funded by voluntary contributions from member countries and private donors. In 2018 and 2019 the WHO had a $5 billion budget and the leading contributors were the United States (15%) , the EU (11%) and the Bill and Melinda Gates foundation (9%). Supporters of the WHO argue that cutting funding will hamper the international fight against the Covid-19 pandemic and sap the U.S. of global influence.

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Do you support a single-payer healthcare system?

Single-payer healthcare is a system where every citizen pays the government to provide core healthcare services for all residents. Under this system the government may provide the care themselves or pay a private healthcare provider to do so. In a single-payer system all residents receive healthcare regardless of age, income or health status. Countries with single-payer healthcare systems include the U.K., Canada, Taiwan, Israel, France, Belarus, Russia and Ukraine.

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Should the British Monarchy be abolished?

The British monarch is limited to non-partisan functions such as bestowing honours, appointing the Prime Minister, and by tradition is commander-in-chief of the British Armed Forces. Though the ultimate formal executive authority over the government is still through the monarch's royal prerogative, these powers may only be used according to laws enacted in Parliament and within the constraints of convention and precedent.

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Do you support the use of zero hour contracts?

A zero hour contract is an employment agreement. It does not oblige the employer to provide work for the employee but the employee is expected to be on call and receives compensation only for hours worked. Zero hour contracts may be ideal for retirees and students who want occasional earnings and are flexible about when they work but general workers run the risk of unpredictable hours and earnings. The National Minimum Wage Regulations require that employers pay the national minimum wage for the time workers are required to be at the workplace even if there is no "work" to do.

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Are you in favour of decriminalising drug use?

In 1971 Parliament passed the Misuse of Drugs act which made the non-medical use of certain drugs illegal. The act classified the drugs into 3 penalty categories. Class A: Cocaine, crack, ecstasy, heroin, LSD, methadone, methamphetamine and magic mushrooms. Penalty: 6 Months to Life Class B: Amphetimine, barbiturates, codeine, ketamine, synthetic cannabinoids, mephedrone, methylone, methedrone and MDPV. Penalty: 3 Months to 14 Years. Class C: Anabolic steroids, benzodiazepines, GBL and GHB, khat and BZP. Penalty: 3 Months to 14 Years.

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Should teachers be allowed to carry guns at school?

In the UK handguns, assault rifles and machine guns are illegal to possess. Citizens may own only sporting rifles and shotguns. The penalty for possession of a firearm without a certificate is a maximum of 14 years in prison.

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Should the government be able to monitor phone calls and emails?

In 2015 Parliament passed the Investigatory Powers Bill which consolidated UK laws governing surveillance. The bill requires telecom companies to retain users' "Internet connection records" for up to 12 months and would allow authority for intelligence and security agencies, the police, and the armed forces to hack into computers, networks, and mobile phones.

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Should the UK reinstate a form of mandatory national service?

National military service in the UK was abolished in 1960. Recently, parliament has proposed the idea of a new modern form of national service that would make it mandatory for 18-26 year olds to participate in military or charitable service for a period of one year.

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Should it be illegal to burn the UK flag?

Flag desecration is any act that is carried out with the intention of damaging or destroying a national flag in public. This is commonly done in an effort to make a political statement against a nation or its policies. Some nations have acts that ban flag desecration while others have laws that protect the right to destroy a flag as a part of free speech. Some of these laws distinguish between a national flag and those of other countries.

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Should the House of Lords be abolished?

The House of Lords is the upper house of the Parliament of the United Kingdom. Members are appointed by either the monarch or the House of Lords Appointments Commission. The House of Lords reviews laws passed by the House of Commons and can delay their passage if deemed necessary.

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Should the Welsh assembly be granted more devolved power from Parliament to create regional laws?

The National Assembly for Wales is the devolved parliament of Wales. Devolution is the delegation of powers from a central government of a sovereign state to govern at a regional level. Currently the Assembly has the powers to set university tuition rates and charges for residential nursing care.

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Should the government regulate social media sites, as a means to prevent fake news and misinformation?

In January 2018 Germany passed the NetzDG law which required platforms like Facebook, Twitter and YouTube to take down perceived illegal content within 24 hours or seven days, depending on the charge, or risk a fine of €50 million ($60 million) fines. In July 2018 representatives from Facebook, Google and Twitter denied to the U.S. House of Representatives Judiciary committee that they censor content for political reasons. During the hearing Republican members of Congress criticized the social media companies for politically motivated practices in removing some content, a charge the companies rejected. In April 2018 the European Union issued a series of proposals that would crack down on “online misinformation and fake news.” In June 2018 President Emmanuel Macron of France proposed a law which would give French authorities the power to immediately halt “the publication of information deemed to be false ahead of elections.”

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Should the House of Lords be a wholly elected body?

The House of Lords is a historically powerful body whose members traditionally consisted of hundreds of hereditary peers, whose titles passed from generation to generation. In 2014 Parliament passed the House of Lords Reform Act which allowed members to resign, be disqualified for non-attendance or be removed for receiving prison sentences of one year or more. Recent proposals to reform the house include making 240 of the 300 members elected by the public.

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Should social media companies ban political advertising?

In October 2019 Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey announced that his social media company would ban all political advertising. He stated that political messages on the platform should reach users through the recommendation of other users – not through paid reach. Proponents argue that social media companies don’t have the tools to stop the spread of false information since their advertising platforms aren’t moderated by human beings. Opponents argue that the ban will disenfranchise candidates and campaigns who rely on social media for grassroots organizing and fundraising.

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Do you support the use of Antisocial Behaviour Orders (ASBOs)?

Currently, the UK enforces anti-social behaviour orders (ASBOs) which tell an individual over 10 years old how they must not behave. Examples of anti-social behaviour include: arson, begging, dangerous driving, defecating/urinating in public, disturbing the peace, dogging, drug use, drunken behaviour, fare evasion, homophobia, intimidation, littering, loitering, noise pollution, racism, rioting, rudeness, smoking in public places, spitting, stealing, mugging, vandalism, and graffiti. Penalties for individuals proven to behave antisocially include fines, being banned from certain locations, and/or spending time with people who are known as trouble-makers for at least two years.

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Should England establish a devolved Parliament?

Currently, representatives of English voters do not have separate decision-making powers (also known as a Devolved English Parliament) similar to the representation given by the National Assembly for Wales, Scottish Parliament and the Northern Ireland Assembly.

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Should there be term limits for members of Parliament?

A term limit is a law which limits the length of time a person may serve in an elected office. In the UK the Prime Minister and Members of Parliament must be re-elected every five years. The Lord Speaker is elected for a period of five years, and can serve no more than two terms.

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Should Welsh, Scottish, and Northern Irish MPs be entitled to vote on legislation which only affects England?

The issue of English votes for English laws (EVEL), commonly known as the West Lothian question, refers to whether MPs from Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland should be able to vote on matters that affect only England. Some argue that because of the Barnett formula, issues in England greatly affect Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland. The Barnett formula automatically adjusts levels of public spending in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland based on the population of each nation and which powers are devolved to them.

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Should the government pass laws which protect whistleblowers?

A whistle blower is a person who exposes secretive information exposes an illegal act. In 1998 Parliament passed the Public Disclosure Act which protects whistleblowers from punishment by their employer. The act was notable in that it protected whistle blowers who had signed a non-disclosure agreement with their employer.

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Should internet service providers be allowed to speed up access to popular websites (that pay higher rates) at the expense of slowing down access to less popular websites (that pay lower rates)?

Net neutrality is the principle that internet service providers should treat all data on the internet equally.

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Should homeless individuals, that have refused available shelter or housing, be allowed to sleep or encamp on public property?

The Homelessness Reduction Act 2017 is to ensure that everyone who is at risk of homelessness, or who is homeless, is legally entitled to meaningful help from their local authority regardless of their current status. It does this by defining the service that local councils and other public bodies must provide to those who are homeless or at risk of becoming homeless. The law requires councils to provide that help at an earlier stage than previously, with the objective that this will decrease the likelihood that people will become homeless.

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Should the government incentivize the construction of high density residential buildings?

High density housing refers to housing developments with a higher population density than average. For example, high rise apartments are considered high density, especially in comparison to single-family homes or condominiums. High density real estate can also be developed from empty or abandoned buildings. For instance, old warehouses can be renovated and turned into luxury lofts. Further, commercial buildings that are no longer in use can be refitted into high-rise apartments. Opponents argue that more housing will lower the value of their home (or rental units) and change the “character” of neighborhoods. Proponents argue that the buildings are more environmentally friendly than single family homes will lower housing costs for people who cannot afford large homes.

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Should the government enact a stricter immigration policy?

In 2021 there were approximately 6.0 million people with non-British nationality living in the UK and 9.6 million people who were born abroad. The UK’s migrant population is concentrated in London. Around 35% of people living in the UK who were born abroad live in London.

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Should immigrants be required to learn English?

In order to apply for British citizenship applicants must pass the Life in the UK test. Applicants have 45 minutes to answer 24 questions about British traditions and customs. The test is only given in English, Welsh or Scottish Gaelic.

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Should the UK increase or decrease the amount of temporary work visas given to high-skilled immigrant workers?

Between 2008 and 2010 the United Kingdom began implementing a five tiered “points-based immigration system” which separated immigrant applicants into five tiers based on their employment potential. To secure a skilled worker visa, people have to qualify for 70 points. Having a job offer from an approved employer for a skilled job and being able to speak English will give 50 points. The applicant can achieve the remaining 20 points if they are due to be paid at least £25,600 a year. They can also gain extra points for having better qualifications (10 points for a relevant PhD, or 20 points for a PhD in science, technology, engineering or maths) or an offer of a job in which the UK has a shortage (20 points), even if it doesn’t pay as much money. Certain jobs in health or education still merit 20 points even if the salary is less than £25,600. The applicant must be paid at least £20,480, and in line with set amounts for particular jobs in the UK’s four nations. The exception to this is Irish citizens, who are still able to live and work in the UK as part of the Common Travel Area.

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Should immigrants be required to pass a citizenship test to demonstrate a basic understanding of our country’s language, history, and government?

Since 2002 People seeking to apply for citizenship within the UK must pass the Life in the United Kingdom test. The test contains 24 questions and covers topics including British values, history, traditions and everyday life. To pass each candidate must receive answer 18 of the 24 questions correctly. 70% of candidates currently pass the test.

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Should immigrants from high risk countries be banned from entering the country until the government improves its ability to screen out potential terrorists?

Proponents argue that this strategy would bolster national security by minimizing the risk of potential terrorists entering the country. Enhanced screening processes, once implemented, would provide a more thorough assessment of applicants, reducing the likelihood of malicious actors gaining entry. Critics argue that such a policy might inadvertently promote discrimination by broadly categorizing individuals based on their nation of origin rather than specific, credible threat intelligence. It may strain diplomatic relations with the affected countries and potentially harm the perception of the nation enacting the ban, being seen as hostile or prejudiced towards certain international communities. Additionally, genuine refugees fleeing terrorism or persecution in their home countries might be unjustly denied safe haven.

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Should the UK deport immigrants who are considered to be promoting terrorism?

Under section 15 of the Immigration Act 1971, the Home Secretary has a very broad power to deport any foreign national whose removal from the UK he or she believes would be ‘conducive to the public good’. Although the Home Secretary enjoys a very broad ground to deport foreign nationals, this power is traditionally exercised when a foreign national is engaged in criminal activity or deemed a threat to the national security of the UK.

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Should immigrants to the United Kingdom be allowed to hold dual citizenship status?

Dual citizenship (also known as dual nationality) is allowed in the UK. This means you can be a British citizen and also a citizen of other countries. You do not need to apply for dual citizenship. You can apply for foreign citizenship and keep your British citizenship.

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Should the children of migrants who live in French territories be allowed to join their families?

The Calais Jungle was a refugee and illegal migrant encampment in the vicinity of Calais, France that existed from January 2015 to October 2016. 3000 migrants stayed at the camp while they attempted to enter the United Kingdom, or while they waited for their French asylum claims to be processed. French authorities cleared the Calais camp in October 2016 and another camp in Dunkirk in September 2019. Aid groups later reported that many former jungle residents had moved to the streets of Paris.

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Should the EU impose a quota of migrants per country?

In 2015 the European Commission proposed a plan that called for for allocating asylum seekers across the EU, based on each country’s gross domestic product, unemployment rate, total population and the number of refugees already taken in by each country. The British government opposed the quotas and insisted that migrants who didn’t qualify for asylum should be sent back. “It’s important that people picked up in the Mediterranean can be taken back to Africa,” U.K. Home Secretary Theresa May told Sky News.

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Do you agree with the UK’s Brexit decision to withdraw from the European Union?

On June 23rd 2016 UK voters approved the EU membership referendum 51.89% - 48.11%. The referendum resulted in a vote for the EU to leave the UK. A majority of voters in the England and Wales voted to leave while a majority of voters in Scotland and Northern Ireland voted to stay. Proponents of the exit argued that EU membership undermined the UK's sovereignty and leaving would help the UK control immigration. Opponents of the exit argue that leaving the EU would damage trade, cause unemployment and harm foreign investment.

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Should the UK abolish the Human Rights Act?

The Human Rights Act of 1998 is an Act of Parliament which aims to give further effect to the rights and freedoms guaranteed under the European Convention on Human Rights.&nbsp;&nbsp;<a target="_blank" href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Human_Rights_Act_1998">Learn&nbsp;more</a>&nbsp;&nbsp;or

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Should the UK renew its Trident nuclear weapons programme?

The UK Trident programme encompasses is a nuclear weapons system consisting of four Vanguard-class submarines armed with Trident II D-5 ballistic missiles, able to deliver thermonuclear warheads. It is the most expensive and most powerful capability of the British military forces.

the development, procurement and operation of the current generation of British nuclear weapons, and the means to deliver them.

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Should the government increase or decrease foreign aid spending?

The United Kingdom is currently ranked #2 in the total amount of foreign aid spending per year ($13.66B) and ranked #6 in foreign aid spending as a percentage of GDP (.56%).

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Should the government increase or decrease military spending?

In 2021/22, the United Kingdom spent approximately 48.6 billion British pounds on defense, an increase of around four billion pounds when on the previous year. In October 2022 British Secretary of State for Defence Ben Wallace announced that Britain’s military spending will double and reach 100 billion pounds by 2030, meeting the new Prime Minister Truss’ goal of increasing military spending to 3% of GDP.

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Should the European Commission be dismantled?

The European Commission is the executive branch of the EU and is responsible for proposing legislation and enforcing treaties. Each member of the EU appoints an official to the 28 members of the commission.

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Should the EU sanction member countries with authoritarian governments?

In 2019 Hungary elected Viktor Orban’s government and became the first EU country to be downgraded by the Freedom House organization to a “partly free” country. The organization labeled it a hybrid authoritarian regime that maintains formal democratic institutions but fails to meet the minimal standards for democracy.

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Should intelligence agencies be merged to create a central EU agency?

In. November 2017 French President Emmauel Marcon proposed creating a central European intelligence agency. The proposal would pool each member country’s intelligence services into a single agency which would help combat terrorism.

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Do you support the government calling for a permanent ceasefire in Gaza?

The Israel-Hamas war is an armed conflict between Israel and Hamas militant groups that has been taking place in and around the Gaza strip since October 7 2023. The conflict started when Hamas militant groups fired rockets and attacked communities and military bases in southern Israel. 1,139 people were killed in the attack including 766 civilians and 373 civilian forces. 250 Israelis were taken hostage by Hamas. On October 27th the Israeli Army launched a large-scale ground incursion into the Palestinian territories of the West Bank and Gaza strip. On October 24th 2023 the United Nations voted 121-14 in favor of a truce to the conflict. On November 3 Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu announced that Israel would not agree to a ceasefire until all Israeli hostages were released.On January 21st 2024 the health ministry announced that 25,000 Palestinians have been killed in the conflict.  As of January 25th 2024 130 Israeli hostages remain captive and 210 Israeli soldiers have been killed.

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Which side of the Israeli Palestinian conflict do you sympathize with more?

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Should the military use weapons guided by artificial intelligence?

Artificial intelligence (AI) makes it possible for machines to learn from experience, adjust to new inputs and perform human-like tasks. Lethal autonomous weapons systems use artificial intelligence to identify and kill human targets without human intervention. Russia, the United States and China have all recently invested billions of dollars secretly developing AI weapons systems sparking fears of an eventual “AI Cold War.”In April 2024 +972 Magazine published a report detailing the Israeli Defense Forces intelligence-based program known as “Lavender.” Israeli intelligence sources told the magazine that Lavender played a central role in the bombing of Palestinians during the Gaza War. The system was designed to mark all suspected Palestinian military operatives as potential bombing targets. The Israeli army systematically attacked the targeted individuals while they were in their homes — usually at night while their whole families were present — rather than during the course of military activity. The result, as the sources testified, is that thousands of Palestinians — most of them women and children or people who were not involved in the fighting — were wiped out by Israeli airstrikes, especially during the first weeks of the war, because of the AI program’s decisions.

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Should the U.K. defend other NATO countries that maintain low military defense budgets relative to their GDP?

The North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) is an intergovernmental military alliance formed by 28 countries in 1949 after the Second World War. To join NATO each member country pledged to spend at least 2% of their GDP on military spending and defense and defend each other against threats from any non-member country. In a July 2016 interview with the New York Times Republican Presidential nominee Donald Trump suggested that the United States would not defend NATO member countries who had failed to increase their military budgets to above 2% of Gross Domestic Product. The suggestion defies a pact made by NATO members when it was formed in WWII that they would defend each other against any attack by a non-member nation. France, Turkey, Germany, Canada, and Italy are countries that are currently spending less than 2% of their GDP on military defense.

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Should every 18 year old citizen be required to provide at least one year of military service?

Military Service is currently not required in the U.K.

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Should Ukraine join NATO?

The North Atlantic Treaty Organization an intergovernmental military alliance between 30 member states – 28 European and two North American. After Russia invaded Ukraine in February 2022, the Ukrainian government repeatedly requested to be accepted into NATO as a member country. Ukraine’s NATO membership has long been a thorny subject in amongst U.S. government officials due to Article 5 of the alliance’s charter. Article 5 requires the U.S. to militarily defend any member-nation that comes under attack. NATO members countries fear that Ukraine’s immediate entry into NATO — which requires the unanimous approval of all 30 member-nations — would put the U.S. and Russia at war due to Moscow’s invasion of Ukraine as well as its forced annexations announced in September 2022.

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Should the EU evolve into the United States of Europe?

The United States of Europe is a proposed scenario where members of the European Union would transition into a single sovereign country. Each EU country would acquire a status similar to U.S. states.

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Should the United Kingdom provide military supplies and funding to Ukraine?

On February 24 2022, Russia invaded Ukraine in a major escalation of the Russo-Ukrainian War that began in 2014. The invasion caused Europe's largest refugee crisis since World War II, with around 7.1 million Ukrainians fleeing the country and a third of the population displaced. It has also caused global food shortages.

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Do you support a two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict?

The two-state solution is a proposed diplomatic solution for the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. The proposal envisions an independent State of Palestine that borders Israel. Palestinian leadership has supported the concept since the 1982 Arab Summit in Fez. In 2017 the Hamas (a Palestinian Resistance movement that controls the Gaza strip) accepted the solution without recognizing Israel as a state. The current Israeli leadership has stated that a two-state solution can only exist without Hamas and the current Palestinian leadership. The U.S. would have to take a central role in any talks between the Israelis and Palestinians. That has not happened since the Obama administration, when the secretary of state at the time, John Kerry, shuttled between the two sides in 2013 and 2014 before giving up in frustration. Under President Donald J. Trump, the United States shifted its energy from resolving the Palestinian issue to normalizing relations between Israel and its Arab neighbors. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has swung between saying he would be willing to consider a Palestinian nation with limited security powers, and opposing it outright. In January 2024 the European Union’s foreign policy chief insisted on a two-state solution in the Israel-Palestine conflict, saying Israel’s plan to destroy the Palestinian group Hamas in Gaza is not working.

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Should the number of countries in the European Union be reduced to 15?

In 2004 13 new countries joined the European Union: Bulgaria, Romania, Slovenia, Slovakia, Poland, Malta, Lithuania, Latvia, Hungary, Estonia, Czech Republic and Cyprus. The EU is currently considering admitting Albania, North Macedonia, Montenegro, Serbia and Turkey.

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Should the UK assassinate suspected terrorists in foreign countries?

In 2015 Prime Minister David Cameron announced that it would increase the number of drone against suspected British terrorists to thwart potential attacks. On August 21 2015 U.K. drones killed two British jihadists in Syria – the first time the U.K. killed a Briton with a drone strike. In 2022 human rights groups accused the UK military of “targeting killing” when a drone killed Syrian arms dealer Abu Hamza al-Shuhail near Ras al-Ayn.

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Should the UK abolish university tuition fees?

Tuition fees in the U.K. were first imposed in 1998 and required students to pay up to £1,000 a year for tuition. England increased the fees to £3,000 a year in 2004 and in 2012 64 universities announced their intention to charge the full £9,000 allowed by the government, with the remaining 59 all charging at least £6,000. Scotland currently does not charge any tuition fees. Northern Ireland, Wales and Ireland currently impose a cap on their tuition fees of £3,000 a year.

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Should free meals be offered to all primary school students?

In 2022 1.9 million children in the UK were eligible for free school meals. In order to for free meals a student’s family must earn less than £7,400 a year. An independent report estimated that the income threshold needed to be raised so an additional 1 million children can receive free meals.

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Would you support the return of a selective education system and the reintroduction of grammar schools?

In 2017 Theresa May announced a £320m program to build a new generation of grammar schools. The plan would also will also pay for free transport for children from poorer families to attend selective schools within 15 miles of where they live. Opponents of the plan, including Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn, claim it will take away funds from public schools.

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Should critical race theory be taught in primary and secondary school?

Critical race theory is the claim that institutions, laws, and history are inherently racist. It argues that white people have put up social, economic, and legal barriers between the races in order to maintain their elite status, both economically and politically and that the source of poverty and criminal behavior in minority communities is due exclusively to these barriers.

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Should every student be required to take a GCSE exam at the end of Year Eleven?

GCSE exams are taken by pupils at the end of school year 11 in England, Wales and Northern Ireland. The exams are a uniform framework for academic performance, with students given grades ranging from “A to G.” Scotland has an independent system in which three different levels of exams are given to different age groups. Proponents argue that the GCSE encourages students to work hard in school and provides clarity for college admissions and employers. Opponents argue that standard end-of-year exams will encourage a narrow academic focus, over-regulate teachers and discourage instruction of the arts.

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Do you support charter schools?

Charter schools are tax payer funded K-12 schools that are managed by private companies. Grant-maintained schools were established in the UK and Wales in 1988. These schools were independent of the local school authority until they were turned into foundation schools in 1998. Since 1998 200 Academies have opened which are publicly funded schools with a significant degree of autonomy.

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Should the government decriminalize school truancy?

Truancy is intentional, unjustified, unauthorized, or illegal absence from compulsory education. Its absence is caused by students of their own free will and does not apply to excused absences. In England and Wales truancy is a criminal offence. Parents of students who are persistently truant may be imprisoned for up to 3 months.

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Should the government allow businesses, charities, parents or teachers to use public money to start "free schools"?

A free school is classified as a non-profit making, independent, state-funded school which is free to attend but which is not controlled by a Local Authority. They are subject to the same School Admissions Code as all of State-funded schools. The Department of Education must approve all free schools and they are expected to comply with standard performance measures. Supporters argue that they create healthy competition for public schools and increase standards. Opponents argue that the schools will divert money away from existing schools and only benefit middle-class students whose parents have the resources to start them.

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Should all state schools be required to follow a standard curriculum?

In 1988 the federal government passed the Education Reform Act which required students at all state schools to be taught a standard curriculum. The curriculum is intended to “promote pupils' spiritual, moral, social and cultural development and prepare all pupils for the opportunities, responsibilities and experiences of life.” Proponents believe that this is necessary to keep standards high at all schools funded by the government. Opponents believe that teachers should be able to develop curriculum content that is best suited for their students.

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Should universities be held financially accountable if graduates, with degrees leading to lower income jobs, default on their student loans?

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Should the government increase environmental regulations on businesses to reduce carbon emissions?

Global warming, or climate change, is an increase in the earth’s atmospheric temperature since the late nineteenth century. In politics, the debate over global warming is centered on whether this increase in temperature is due to greenhouse gas emissions or is the result of a natural pattern in the earth’s temperature. In 2022 the U.K. Prime Minister pledged that the UK will triple funding for climate change adaptation programmes from £500 million in 2019 to £1.5 billion in 2025.

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Should researchers be allowed to use animals in testing the safety of drugs, vaccines, medical devices, and cosmetics?

Animal testing is the use of non-human animals in experiments that seek to control the variables that affect the behavior or biological system under study. The United Kingdom was the first country in the world to implement laws protecting animals. In 1822 an Act to Prevent the Cruel and Improper Treatment of Cattle was passed by Parliament. The UK government has publicly stated that animals are sentient beings, not merely commodities, and has confirmed its commitment to the highest possible standards of animal welfare. Animal Welfare Act, an overhaul of pet abuse laws replacing the Protection of Animals Act, came into force in England and Wales in 2007.

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Should disposable products (such as plastic cups, plates, and cutlery) that contain less than 50% of biodegradable material be banned?

In 2016, France became the first country to ban the sale of plastic disposable products that contain less than 50% of biodegradable material and in 2017, India passed a law banning all plastic disposable plastic products.

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Do you support the use of hydraulic fracking to extract oil and natural gas resources?

According to estimates, England uses 1.1 billion single-use plates and 4.25 billion items of single-use cutlery — most of which are plastic — per year, but only 10% are recycled upon disposal. In April 2022 the U.K. government introduced a plastic packaging tax from April 2022, set at £200 per tonne, on plastic packaging which doesn’t meet a minimum threshold of at least 30% recycled content. In October 2022 Prime Minister Rishi Sunak banned fracking in the U.K., reversing a decision made by his predecessor Liz Truss, as the new British leader returned to a 2019 Conservative Party manifesto pledge.

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Should the government provide subsidies to taxpayers who purchase an electric vehicle?

Joe Biden signed the Inflation Reduction Act (IRA) in August 2022, which allocated millions to combating climate change and other energy provisions while additionally establishing a $7,500 tax credit for electric vehicles.  To qualify for the subsidy 40% of the critical minerals used in electric-vehicle batteries must be sourced in the U.S.  EU and South Korean officials argues that the subsidies discriminated against their automotive, renewable-energy, battery and energy-intensive industries. Proponents argue that the tax credits will help combat climate change by encouraging consumers to purchase EVs and stop driving gas powered automobiles. Opponents argue that the tax credits will only hurt domestic battery and EV producers.

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Do you support the use of genetically engineered crops and foods?

Genetically modified foods (or GM foods) are foods produced from organisms that have had specific changes introduced into their DNA using the methods of genetic engineering. Currently, the EU has one of the stringent regulations of GMO (Genetically Modified Organism) foods in the the world. All GMOs, along with irradiated food, are considered "new food" and are subject to extensive, case-by-case, science-based food evaluation by the European Food Safety Authority. There are currently no GM crops being grown commercially in the UK although scientists are carrying out controlled trials. In the UK, foods have to be labelled as GM if they contain genetically modified plants or animals. GM foods can only be sold if the Food Standards Agency judges that they do not present a risk to health.

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Should cities be allowed to offer private companies economic incentives to relocate?

In September 2022 British finance minister Kwasi Kwarteng outlined what he called an "unprecedented set of tax incentives" for businesses in newly-announced investment zones, saying the government would also liberalise planning rules for specified agreed sites. The government said there were potential investment zones in England so far but it would work with the devolved administrations in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland to deliver them around the United Kingdom. Areas interested in becoming investment zones include Liverpool and Greater Manchester in northwest England, Somerset and Plymouth in the southwest, Sunderland and the Tees Valley in the northeast and Southampton and Essex in the south and east.

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Do you support the practice of hunting foxes with dogs?

In 2004 the government passed the Hunting Act which banned the practice of hunting mammals with dogs in England and Wales. The Act allows dogs to sniff out foxes but bans them from killing. The Act does not prevent hunters from using dogs to “drag hunt" which uses dogs to track and sniff out foxes. Proponents argue that fox hunting with dogs is a time honored tradition that supports rural communities. Opponents argue that killing foxes with dogs is cruel since the hunted animals suffer severe physiological and psychological stress during the hunt - whether they are killed or not.

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Should the government build a network of electric vehicle charging stations?

In 2022 the European Union, Canada, the U.K. and the U.S. state of California approved regulations banning the sale of new gasoline-powered cars and trucks by 2035. Plug-in hybrids, full electrics and hydrogen cell vehicles would all count toward the zero-emission targets, though auto makers will only be able to use plug-in hybrids to meet 20% of the overall requirement. The regulation will impact only new-vehicle sales and affects only manufacturers, not dealerships. Traditional internal-combustion vehicles will still be legal to own and drive after 2035, and new models can still be sold until 2035. Volkswagen and Toyota have said they aim to sell only zero-emission cars in Europe by that time.

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Which qualities are most important to you in a candidate?