Today, the Scottish National Party (SNP) published its manifesto, which means that the UK’s four biggest parties have now published their manifestos for the General Election on 8 June. Last week, the BIA’s policy team looked at what the Conservative, Labour, and Liberal Democrat Parties’ manifestos mean for the life sciences. Here, we look at what the SNP manifesto says about the life sciences.

The SNP manifesto state that the party “will hold the Tories to account, making sure they cannot trade away Scotland’s industries in Brexit negotiations”. While the manifesto does not contain a guarantee of a second independence referendum, the SNP stresses that if the party wins a majority of Scottish seats the case for another referendum would be immensely strengthened. The manifesto refers to this as a “triple lock”, building on last year’s Holyrood election and the Scottish Parliament’s recent vote.

Unlike the other parties, which all clearly recognise the importance of the life sciences, the SNP manifesto does not explicitly mention the sector. Nonetheless, noteworthy policies for the life sciences include:

  • Staying part of the EU Single Market
  • Calling on the UK government to stay part of the European Medicines Agency (EMA), as losing access to the EMA “through Brexit means that there may be delays to new medicines becoming available in the UK”
  • Devolving responsibility for medicine and medical product regulation to the Scottish Parliament
  • Pressing the UK government to match current Scottish government spending per head on health (this would increase NHS England’s investment by £11bn by the end of Parliament)
  • Seek clarity from the UK government on how EU funding schemes like Horizon 2020 will be replaced
  • Calling for a Scottish representative to be a standing member of the UK Research and Innovation Board
  • Seek to devolve immigration powers to Scotland, reintroduce a Post-Study Work Visa scheme for international graduates, and oppose a Skills Immigration Charge
  • Calling for clear guidance and mandate for the Small Business Commissioner for their role in delivering the Industrial Strategy

The General Election is now just over a week away and we will be sharing all of our election analysis with you in a mailing at the end of the week.