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The party manifestos of the Conservatives, Labour and the Liberal Democrats.

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The party manifestos lay out their pledges and here we look at what’s on offer, against those issues (see below).

BADA chief executive Marco Forgione said: “This is definitely an important election for the trade and there are issues with whoever is elected.”

Brexit is a major worry, namely what will happen to export licences and customs when the UK leaves the European Union.

Book dealer Tim Bryars said his main concern was that “the UK retains its position as a major hub of the international trade in rare books and art and antiques generally” as the country exits the EU.

King’s Road dealer Julia Boston wants another chance to vote on Brexit, something the Lib Dems promise to do. “The country needs to make a final decision when the ramifications are clearer,” she said.

Another issue is regulation of the ivory trade. While the Tory manifesto makes no mention of ivory, Labour pledges to ban the trade. LAPADA chief executive Rebecca Davies said the Labour promise of “an indiscriminate ban on the sale of ivory demonstrates a lack of understanding of the artistic, cultural and historical importance of items that had been crafted in the past”.

Helen Carless, managing director at Lawrence Fine Art Auctioneers and chairman of SOFAA, hopes “the trade in antique ivory will continue but that the trade in modern ivory will be made illegal”.

Issues around employment and tax are critical to both dealer and auctioneer camps, with a range of standpoints from the main three parties.

Umbrella body BAMF hopes for a definite outcome.

“Brexit will dominate all political decision making for the next two years,” BAMF chairman Anthony Browne said.

“Above all, the art market needs a government with a clear majority to implement what it promises to do.”

General Election June 8 – the issues outlined by ATG readers

Business regulation and taxes

• Cut corporation tax from current 19% to 17% by 2020
• Full review and reform of business rates system, including more frequent revaluations
• Plans to switch from annual to quarterly, digital reporting of returns postponed until after the election
• Freeze VAT standard rate at current 20% level

Approach to Brexit

• Negotiate Brexit deal or walk away if deal offered is ‘bad’; leave EU’s Single Market, with desire for free trade between UK and EU member states
• Strike new trade agreements with non-EU countries

Antique ivory regulations

No mention of ivory in 2017 manifesto, but vows the UK would “continue to lead international action against climate change, and the degradation of habitat and loss of species”

Employment red tape and permitting EU citizens to remain in the UK

• Overseas workers: reduce and control EU migrant numbers; double annual ‘skills charge’ to £2000 that firms have to pay per non-EU worker
• Increase National Living Wage (NLW) for over 25s to £8.75 an hour by 2020

Capital Gains Tax

No mention of Capital Gains Tax (CGT) in Tory manifesto but 2016 Budget vowed to cut higher CGT rate from 28% to 20% and basic rate from 18% to 10%

Business regulation and taxes

• Raise corporation tax rate to 26% from 2020-21 for the biggest firms
• Small businesses – with profits below £300,000 – would pay a reduced rate (20%) of corporation tax
• Full review of business rates system
• Freeze VAT at current 20% level

Approach to Brexit

• Retain benefits of Single Market and Customs Union
• Promise of a ‘meaningful’ vote on final Brexit deal and if rejected, a return to EU negotiating table

Antique ivory regulations

Vow to “introduce and enforce a total ban on ivory trading” 

Employment red tape and permitting EU citizens to remain in the UK

Overseas workers: EU citizens in UK guaranteed right to remain but an end to freedom of movement
• Increase NLW to at least £10 per hour by 2020 for all workers aged 18 or over
• Ban unpaid internships and zero-hours contracts

Capital Gains Tax

Reverse Conservatives’ cuts to CGT

Business regulation and taxes

• Raise corporation tax to 20% from current 19%. Potential to “shift from a profits-based system to one that takes account of wider range of indicators, such as sales and turnover” to tackle tax avoidance
• Full review of business rates to reduce burdens on small firms; rectify imbalance between what physical outlets and online-only firms pay
• No mention of VAT in manifesto

Approach to Brexit

• Ensure Britain remains in Single Market and Customs Union
• Will offer referendum on any Brexit deal negotiated with the EU

Antique ivory regulations

No explicit manifesto mention of ivory but promise of “actions to tackle illegal and unsustainable trade in timber, wildlife, ivory and fish”

Employment red tape and permitting EU citizens to remain in the UK

Overseas workers: All EU citizens given right to stay and work in the UK; free movement of labour around Europe
• Review how to set a Genuine Living Wage (calculated by the cost of living) across all sectors

Capital Gains Tax

• Reverse Conservatives’ cuts to CGT
• CGT and dividend tax relief to be reformed

Sources: 2017 party manifestos; media statements