Cornwall for Europe raises funds for victims of xenophobic hate crime in Cornwall

When campaigning group Cornwall for Europe saw that a Romanian couple who run a taxi service in Helston had been targeted by hate crime in the days leading up to Brexit on 31 January, they decided to do something about it.

The group started a crowdfunder to raise money to pay for the damage caused when the taxi belonging to Dragos and Mirabela Robatzchi had its tyres repeatedly slashed by vandals, who also left dog mess in the parking space of the Romanian family.

The response was extraordinary, and the group had met their initial target within 24 hours. With contributions still coming in, Cornwall for Europe say they will be using any additional funds raised to help other people from EU and other countries who have been similarly targeted by xenophobic hate crime in Cornwall.

“Whatever they feel about Brexit, we know most people in Cornwall want everyone to feel welcome here, and we felt that this was a practical way for people to show their solidarity and support for Dragos and Mirabela,” said Emmanuelle Brook, Chair of Cornwall for Europe.

“Many people from EU countries are feeling very anxious about their future in the UK right now, despite having spent years of their lives here and contributing in all sorts of ways to their local communities – as neighbours, co-workers and friends. We want to show them that they are valued and supported.

“We know that it’s only a tiny minority of people who commit such hate crimes, perhaps encouraged by some of the shameful anti-European rhetoric from some politicians and elements of the media that we’ve seen in the last few years. But unfortunately, we also know that what Dragos and Mirabela have experienced is not an isolated case, and that others have also been targeted in this way.

“We’re hugely encouraged by all the messages of support and solidarity that people have been leaving on our crowdfunder page. Cornwall has a long and proud tradition of welcoming people from all over the world, and nobody living here should be subjected to this sort of harassment and intimidation.”

Dragos and Mirabella with Cornwall for Europe campaigners

Along with a cheque to cover the cost of the damage caused to Dragos and Mirabela, Cornwall for Europe also presented them today with a bunch of yellow roses as a symbol of friendship and solidarity.

The Yellow Rose initiative was started by Cornwall for Europe member Jane Stevenson in 2018, and has caught on nationally. Jane said: “It’s a way of encouraging people to send messages of friendship to EU citizens in the UK and British people living in Europe – millions of whom have had their lives turned upside down by Brexit. It’s a simple way of showing that you care, and it’s led to thousands of people sending heartfelt messages with this symbol online as well as giving actual roses to friends, neighbours, colleagues and even complete strangers.”

Welcoming the support given by Cornwall for Europe, Dragos and Mirabela said they were deeply touched and that they looked forward to working with the group to strengthen ties of international friendship and understanding in Cornwall.

The crowdfunder, which has already raised around £1000, will be open for another week and is at https://www.crowdfunder.co.uk/support-dragos-and-mirabela.

Fishing industry and MPs being misled, claim EU campaigners

Cornwall for Europe, the campaign group for Cornwall and the UK to remain in the EU, have claimed that the fishing industry and a local MP have been misled. They have been given an expert briefing by solicitor Sarah Adkins which, they believe, makes it clear that there will be huge problems exporting Cornish fish to France and the rest of the EU.

Their Spokesman Charles Boney said: ‘It is clear from Sarah’s report to us that Mr Gove’s reply to a Cornish MP is misleading. The way that fish will be traded under ‘no deal’ will be far more complex than his bland assurances suggest. 

An exchange between Derek Thomas MP for St Ives and Michael Gove the minister in charge of Brexit preparations smoothes over  the threat to the future of the Newlyn fishing industry. Despite assurances by Mr Gove that measures have been taken to “to ensure fish and shellfish products caught in the UK today can be sold in the EU tomorrow,” investigations by Cornwall for Europe show that the picture could be one of chaos in the vital export trade to the EU, which accounts for £7 in every £10 worth of fish landed in Newlyn, Cornwall’s biggest fishing port.’

‘Sarah’s information is clear: ‘As a direct consequence of leaving the Single Market Cornish Exporters face a blizzard of paperwork and delays, relying on decisions by EU Border Inspection Posts to waive the required 72 hour prior notifications for each shipment with every consignment requiring a costly Export Health Certificate as well as a catch certificate and customs declaration.’ She explained that all shellfish exports will have to enter France at Caen and fishery produce travelling through the Channel Tunnel will be sent to the Border Inspection Post at Boulogne for import inspections.  ‘Although Roscoff will be a Border Inspection Post after Brexit, Cornish fish that is now exported seamlessly via the ferry will face significant new red tape and cost’

Charles Boney added: ‘It seems that the Government will do anything to achieve any deal or no deal, however bad for Cornish fishing and farming. Fishing could well be hit as badly as Agriculture, which is facing massive trade barriers including over 40% tariffs on many meat products with no clear promises about how farmers will be supported. Mr Gove claims that fish caught today will be sold in Europe tomorrow – for Cornish fish we believe this is just untrue and we are surprised the MP representing Newlyn seems reassured.’

Sarah Adkins also reports that there are issues about signing off the export health certificates for fish and other animal products – Vets or Environmental Health Officers – and she says: 

‘Each exporting establishment must be approved by EU and there is now insufficient time for this process if there is no deal. Defra have been unable to provide any reassurance about this. Until UK establishments exporting produce of animal origin – including fish – have been approved (at least a 30 day process following EU approval of the UK as a 3rd country exporter) they are prohibited from exporting to the EU. The Prime Minister’s promise in the USA to make the most of de-regulation may impact the terms on which the EU approve the UK as an exporter to it’.

Cornwall for Europe run street stalls across Cornwall every week, organise meetings and marches to rally support for our EU membership. Howard Farmer, who helps run the organisation said: ‘We have already filled two coaches for the massive demonstration in London on 19th October and are booking extra ones so that people from all over the County can come with us to show how they feel about the current crisis.’

Cornish reaction to Supreme Court ruling

Cornwall for Europe, the local group campaigning for the UK to remain in the EU, welcomes the Supreme Court Ruling today. Their Spokeperson Charles Boney said:”This ruling makes it clear that Johnson lied to Parliament, and by implication, the Queen. We have been campaigning for over two years on the basis that he lied to the Cornish People when he launched the Brexit Campaign bus in Cornwall in 2016, stating that the NHS could have huge extra funding if we voted Leave. He continued to deceive the electorate when he launched the poster stating Turkey was to join the EU and millions of refugees could flock here. 


Today 11 Judges have unanimously condemned him.We continue to campaign with even greater vigour, we hold street stalls throughout Cornwall every week and we are organising coaches from all over Cornwall to the huge march in London on 19th October.’


Sue Winter, who helps organise street stalls added:’Johnson should resign, along with Rees-Mogg, who led the group of Ministers who went to see the Queen at Balmoral with Johnson’s message asking for Parliament to be shut down. The decision had not even been considered by Cabinet!’

Proroguing of Parliament sparks protests in Cornwall

Cornwall for Europe, the campaigners for Britain to stay in the EU, have called a protest on Thursday 29th August at 10.30, outside the offices of Sarah Newton MP, Quay Street, Truro .

They are angry about the suspension of Parliament by the Prime Minister and they have supported spontaneous protests. ‘This is outrageous. There is no majority for a no deal Brexit, either in Parliament or in the country’ said Charles Boney, Press Spokesperson for Cornwall for Europe. ‘We are supporting anyone who wants to make a legal protest, such as the group who paraded outside the office of Sheryll Murray MP on Wednesday. We are calling for anyone who wants to protest to try and get to Truro to make their feelings heard.’

Tom Scott, social media officer of the group has also reported that the group has been targeted by hard right Brexit supporters.

Protestors outside Sheryll Murray’s office in Liskeard

‘Our facebook has been filled with vitriol by Brexit trolls and we have had at least two of our Committee’s social media accounts hacked. There was specific request on a far right website to troll Cornwall for Europe. We are doing our best to block these people.’

Cornwall for Europe will continue to organise street stalls several times a week in main towns throughout the County. They have also mounted a huge ‘Stop Brexit’ sign at the end of the Airport runway at Newquay and are planning more signs throughout the County as well as taking coach bookings for a big London protest on 19th October.

Cornish campaigners challenge to MPs as they prepare for London rally

Cornwall for Europe, the grassroots campaign for the UK to remain in the EU, have challenged local MPs to explain why people have no confidence in Parliament to sort out the Brexit crisis. They are sending two coach loads of supporters to a rally in London on Saturday 20th July which aims to tell people about the positive reasons for being in the EU.

‘We believe that people have no confidence in Parliament to sort out this mess. MPs have failed to explain to people the really good things about being in the EU. We have had the longest period of peace in Europe ever since we formed the EU, Cornwall has had huge economic support from regeneration funds, our young people have had massive opportunities to study abroad, and all of us have freedom to move around and live or work anywhere in Europe. Even free charges on phones, healthcare and cleaner beaches have happened! Yet we cannot find any comment from any of our MPs about these issues.’ said Emmanuelle Brook, Chair of Cornwall for Europe.

Howard Farmer, who attends many of the street stalls organised throughout Cornwall, added: ‘We ask people to have their say about Brexit using what we call a ‘Brexitometer’. Every time we see strong support for a People’s Vote and fears that Brexit will damage the Economy. The clearest vote is always the one about whether people have confidence in MPs sorting out the mess – hardly anyone says they have confidence in their MP.’   

Cornwall for Europe volunteers attempted to show their Brexitometer to MP Sheryll Murray at the Liskeard Show

Sue Winter was one of the campaigners who tried to show the Brexitometer results to local MP for South East Cornwall, Sheryll Murray at the Liskeard show. ‘We were astonished that she refused to look at the results. It would have been good to get her view on why voters have lost confidence in MPs to sort out this mess. It’s not just Conservatives – campaign groups all over the country are finding similar results. We are a cross party campaign group and it is so disappointing when an MP will not even engage in proper debate.’

Charles Boney, Press Officer, said; ‘ We will be pressing all Cornish MPs to engage with us. We have have supporters of all parties in our Campaign, except Brexit and UKIP, and  we are always polite in our discussions, even with strong Brexit supporters. We do not expect MPs to turn their backs on us. If any MP would prefer a private meeting, away from the public and cameras, then we would sit down with them. We just want them to take part in proper discussion.’

Rally For Europe

Cornwall for Europe, the campaigners for the UK to remain as members of the EU, celebrated at the weekend exactly three years after the country voted to leave. They held a rally in central Truro with speeches, songs and invited many passers by to chat and give their views. Despite the rain over 50 supporters turned out and Emmanuelle Brook, Chair of Cornwall for Europe declared the vent a great success. ‘People see us campaigning and many stop to chat, realising that our enthusiasm means we have something special to say. For three years our politicians have made a complete mess of things – the only way forward is to put it back to the people in a public vote.’

Cornwall for Europe Chair Emmanuelle Brook with MEP Caroline Voaden


Emmanuelle was also able to brief Caroline Voaden, newly elected MEP, about the In Limbo Project.  This is an organisation which helps support the millions of EU nationals who feel threatened by Brexit.  Emmanuelle, who has lived in the UK for 20 years, is French. ‘We have testimonies from many people who feel shunned and are now unsure of their future. Britain was once such a welcoming country.’ 

In her speech to the crowd Caroline Voaden pledged to carry on the fight for keeping Britain in Europe and for a People’s Vote on any final say about Brexit.


There was also a message read out by another MEP, Molly Scott-Cato, who also gave support to the Cornwall for Europe campaign. She said MEPs are pressing for legal action on two important issues. The disgraceful way that EU citizens had been denied their right to vote in the MEP elections and also the way the police do not deal properly with aggressive behaviour of Brexit supporters, especially outside the Houses of Parliament.


Charles Boney spoke on behalf of Cornwall for Europe to thank all those who had campaigned to Remain. In only two years Cornwall for Europe has grown from a small band of enthusiasts to a large political campaign with more members, social media followers and public support than any political party in Cornwall. ‘We are a cross Party campaign and welcome anyone from political parties that support our aim to remain members of the EU.’


EU campaigners celebrate ‘3 years without Brexit’

Cornwall for Europe (CFE) will be celebrating this coming weekend as part of a series of national events. On Sunday 23rd June, it is 3 years since Britain voted to leave the EU but campaigners in Cornwall have been working hard since then to stay in Europe.

Emmanuelle Brook, Chair of CFE said; ‘We believe Cornwall and the country has changed its mind about our membership of the EU. Every week we hold street stalls and other events and talk to people. The overwhelming view is that MPs are not trusted with the decision and it should go back to the people for a final say.’

Charles Boney, Press Officer, said ‘Cornwall for Europe is now a well organised and a vibrant cross party political force in Cornwall. We have more members than local political parties, including over 11,000 Facebook followers and we are widely followed on all social media. This year so far we have held over 100 street stalls, an average of 4 each week. We attend farmers’ markets, organise meetings, attend national rallies and do everything possible to explain the positive benefits of being a member of the EU. National opinion polls now tell us there is clear support to remain and the big increase in votes for anti Brexit parties in the recent MEP Elections confirms that support.’

The public are being urged to attend the rally and celebration picnic on Sunday where details of future events will be available.

Event details:

Is the thought of Boris Johnson as PM getting you down? Then come and celebrate some reasons to be cheerful with Cornwall for Europe!

SUNDAY 23rd JUNE MIDDAY OUTSIDE TRURO LIBRARY

As well as celebrating our European identity we’ll be sharing stories and updates on recent events, and letting you know about positive things we can do in the coming months. And of course we will be singing to Remain!

Join us afterwards for a “bring and share” picnic in Victoria Gardens. 

Our Cornwall celebration is part of a national weekend of action – we want to show the country that we’re stronger than ever and determined not to let our country slide into a ruinous future by default.

This link provides details of the event on 23rd June:

EU Campaigners claim victory in South West

Cornwall for Europe (CfE), the campaigners of a People’s Vote in a new referendum, have claimed the EU election results show their campaign won the South West Region.

CfE Chair, Emmanuelle Brook said: ‘Although Farage’s Brexit Party won the most votes, the combined total of Lib Dems, Green and Change UK was an impressive 44%. Brexit and UKIP together polled 39.9%. We believe our campaigning is winning people over to us. We will continue to campaign with our street stalls, meetings and events throughout Cornwall’.


In Cornwall itself, the ‘Brexit’ parties totalled 44.7% of the vote against 40.5% for the People’s Vote/Remain parties but this shows a significant shift from 2016. One of the CfE campaign organisers Sue Winter said: ‘The referendum in Cornwall was strongly Brexit but now the gap has narrowed to only 4%. We believe that many Cornish folks have changed their mind. In particular, they fear a no deal Brexit which would be disastrous for Cornwall’.


In the recent elections, the combined Labour and Conservative votes sunk to a total of 13.9%. Howard Farmer, who helps organise street stalls for the Campaign says: ‘This was the worst result for either Conservative or Labour in Cornwall in living memory in any election. People have been telling us for months that they think the existing party system is broken. They are listening to campaign groups like ourselves and are open to new ideas about politics. We are delighted the Remain parties did so well. We will carry on campaigning for a People’s Vote with an option to Remain.’


In the elections there was a major switch from UKIP to the Brexit Party who now hold 3 South West seats; in 2014 UKIP won 2 seats. Labour and Conservative both lost a seat each to the Liberal Democrats, with the Greens also retaining their seat. Cornwall for Europe holds street stalls in towns throughout Cornwall. They organised transport for hundreds of campaigners from Cornwall to the London march which attracted over 1 million protesters. In recent weeks they have set new campaign groups for young people and students as well as those interested in Farming and agriculture. Plans are being made to get their message across to those attending major summer events such as agricultural shows and festivals.

EU Campaigners set up new farming group

Cornwall for Europe has set up a new campaign group to engage the farming community in issues about Brexit. In the last year they have held over 100 street stalls in towns across Cornwall but are now branching out to form groups covering different interest groups such as farming.

Cornwall for Europe held their first farming stall at Hallworthy Livestock Market last Thursday. Attending on behalf of the group was retired farmer and regular stall organiser Howard Farmer who has organised similar events all around Cornwall on a regular weekly basis since the group was formed about 2 years ago.

Also attending were former Cornwall Councillor and farmer from Liskeard Jim Candy as well as Veterinary Surgeon from Bude Tom O’Sullivan. The organisers explained their main objective was to engage with the farming community and to listen to the concerns that led so many of them to vote to leave the European Union in the 2016 referendum. In anticipation of what might be the main issues, the group brought along the now familiar ‘Brexitometer’ with 5 questions which they believed to be relevant, given the present state of the Brexit debate.

Howard Farmer said “It is great to see how happy the majority of the people here are to discuss the issues with us, regardless of how they voted in 2016 which seems to have been a majority to leave”. He went on to observe ”while the vast majority of respondents are mistrustful of politicians in Westminster they are more or less equally divided on the support for a vote on the final deal, whatever it might be”.

Jim Candy said ”I am surprised that some farmers still support a no deal Brexit given the dire warnings from the National Farmers Union. The NFU is especially concerned in relation to the export trade of lamb meat to France”. Tom O’Sullivan said how pleased he was to be back having been Veterinary Surgeon at the market some years ago. “It is great to meet again with staff and farmers alike.  I am especially interested in the fact that for many farmers the burden of regulations was a major factor in deciding to vote leave, however when asked if they thought that burden would be lessened by leaving the EU, the clear majority agreed it would not”. Tom went on to say he felt the leave campaign had exploited the difficulties farmers, as well as other groups, face and promised solutions which it has now become clear are undeliverable.

Overall the organisers were delighted with the event and the team is planning to run more stalls at farming community events and continue to engage with the general public several times a week all over Cornwall.

Musical Monday

Campaigners from Cornwall for Europe have travelled to London for the third time in a month to lobby Parliament, trying to persuade MPs to stop brexit by calling a new ‘People’s Vote’ on any deal. On Monday they travelled to take part in a ‘musical Monday’ called by the well known anti Brexit activist Steve Bray who waves placards and heckles press interviews with his megaphone.

But this time something different was used as a tactic. Groups from all over the country were invited to sing their own versions of well known songs and shanties about brexit. ‘What shall we do with this rotten Brexit?’ to the tune of Drunken Sailor is one of the group’s favourites. Howard Farmer, one of organisers, said: ‘Was it the Emperor Nero who is said to have fiddled on the violin while Rome burnt? Well, Parliament is frozen and incapable of making a decision, so we thought we would come to London and sing while Brexit burns this country apart.’

Cornwall for Europe, North Yorks for Europe, Tunbridge Wells for Europe and SODEM were joined by Berry Sbeerman MP and others during the simg+off


They also took with them home made scones, jam and Cornish clotted cream to nourish themselves and fellow singers, especially some visitors from Yorkshire. Emmanuelle Brooke, Cornwall for Europe Chair said: ‘We cannot miss any opportunity to educate potential visitors to Cornwall which way up to have their cream and jam.’

Stalwart anti-Brexit campaigner Steve Bray enjoys a scone the Cornish way

Press Officer, Charles Boney said the campaign would continue to do everything possible to press for action. ‘Parliament is at a stalemate. Now Brexit is delayed for up to six months, it seems the politicians have relaxed and are letting time slip by. Both main parties are so divided that we have no effective Government in this country. We are becoming a laughing stock across the world. My biggest fear is that other countries are looking at us with sadness and thinking ‘strike a trade deal with the UK? Really? Why?’