The Ulster Unionist Party (UUP) release their Westminster election manifesto

The Ulster Unionist Party has launched their 2024 general election manifesto in their hope to get their party back to Westminster. Take a look at the key commitments in their manifesto on things such as health and the economy.
Ulster Unionist Party candidates at the launch of their 2024 general election manifesto. Image: UUP

The Ulster Unionist Party (UUP) has launched its general election manifesto today.

The UUP failed to elect any Members of Parliament in 2019, with their last two MPs both elected in 2015, but they weren’t re-elected in 2017.

This year they have a range of candidates in every constituency throughout Northern Ireland, with the exception of Belfast North.

Their most notable candidates this year are Robin Swann (South Antrim), Tim Collins (North Down), Robbie Butler (Lagan Valley) and Diana Armstrong (Fermanagh & South Tyrone).

Fermanagh and South Tyrone was the most marginal seat throughout the United Kingdom in the 2019 general election, with just 57 votes separating Sinn Fein and the Ulster Unionists.

Party leader Doug Beattie’s address in the manifesto says, “I am acutely aware that we have not had a presence on the green bench of Westminster for a number of years.”

“Our aim, this election, is to change that with your help ensuring we have an effective and visible pro-Union voice at Westminster.”

“This manifesto is for you, and it is you who has the ability to create real change in Northern Ireland.”

Here are the key points we have picked out when analysing their manifesto.

The Union

Of course, the UUP supports Northern Ireland’s place in the United Kingdom, saying it has provided “stability, security and a framework for progress, enabling Northern Ireland to thrive within the broader British family.”

They emphasise the “unparalleled economic advantages” that the Union provides: Access to global markets, strengthening our economy, creating jobs, and stimulating investment, ensuring a brighter future for generations to come.

Also mentioning the National Health Service (NHS) and the UK Armed Forces as benefits of being part of the UK.

On the Windsor Framework, they say it “represents a stepping-stone in addressing the challenges posed by the Northern Ireland Protocol”, adding they have campaigned against the Protocol since it was forced upon NI.

“While the UUP acknowledges the progress made through negotiations, we remain vigilant in scrutinising the outworking of the Framework, and future negotiations between Westminster and the EU, to ensure NI’s place within the UK internal market is fully restored.”


The Ulster Unionists say they are “committed to fiscal responsibility and effective financial stewardship”.

They want to reduce the rate of corporation tax to 15% to attract investment and economic growth throughout Northern Ireland.

Freeports are something they want to see in Northern Ireland too, along with the creation of an “All-Islands energy market to leverage the benefits of greater integration with Great Britain’s energy markets.”


With the UUP holding the Health Department in the Northern Ireland Executive, their manifesto goes into detail about the problems currently facing the Department.

They say this year’s budget is “delivering a record £184 million cut in funding” – they were the only Executive party to vote against the budget.

“The Ulster Unionist Party’s focus will remain on driving through improvements in service delivery wherever and whenever possible.”

“We commit to our long-standing policy of maintaining pay parity, and will continue to engage with Executive colleagues to ensure independent pay recommendations are funded and delivered as quickly as possible.”

They say that by continuing to reduce the most expensive forms of agency staff they are continuing to make savings, and will introduce a new framework to limit “hugely expensive off-contract medical and locum costs.”

A fairer society

Their manifesto says they will “work to remove barriers to women’s participation in employment by providing accessible, affordable childcare and access to education, training and transport.”

They support the banning of conversion therapy, introducing a policy of zero new HIV diagnosis by 2030, providing fertility services to all without discrimination and ensuring equal access to adoption and fostering.

Education and young people

The Ulster Unionists say they will “establish a single education system that values every child equally, providing tailored support and resources to meet individual needs.”

It will “integrate children of all abilities, fostering a culture of inclusivity and mutual respect.”

They want to see high-quality early education and childcare services that are affordable for all families.

Agriculture and environment

They commit to maintaining and enhancing direct payments to farmers, “ensuring they receive a fair, stable income to invest in their businesses.”

“We will work in partnership with farmers to develop a comprehensive, long-term strategy for the future of Northern Ireland agriculture.”

They commit to invest in broadband, mobile connectivity and transport links “to end the digital and physical isolation of rural communities.”

The party says they are committed to “ensuring that Northern Ireland makes a fair contribution to the goal of UK Net Zero.”

Justice and legacy

The UUP want to see the Police Service of Northern Ireland have a headcount of 7,500 officers, which was proposed by the Independent Commission for Policing in Northern Ireland over twenty years ago.

“We believe that 500 additional police officers should be recruited over the next three years, in addition to normal recruitment to replenish leavers”.

They want to see the justice process sped up, emphasising that it takes twice as long in our courts than it does in the rest of the United Kingdom.

In terms of legacy, the UUP are opposed to any return of the Stormont House Agreement Legacy proposals, and oppose the Legacy Act introduced by the Conservatives, which Labour have said they will scrap.


The UUP make a range of commitments such as the establishment of a Naval Base in Northern Ireland, to allow NATO assets to be deployed from here.

They also want to see the Republic of Ireland either enhance their Partnership and Cooperation Programme, or join NATO, and to commit to spending 2% of their GDP on defence.


The party says that “our immigration system must be open, transparent and fair. We must target the traffickers… as our main defence in reducing illegal immigration.”

They have a zero-tolerance policy on illegal immigration, but say they are responsive to genuine asylum seekers, and support government measures to target the people traffickers.

And they want to fast track asylum applications for families with children, single mothers, or those who have a protected profession.

You can read the UUP’s election manifesto in full below, or by clicking here.

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