By Bev Haigh-Jones
Cornwall for Europe have now started their campaigning for this year, initially with a street stall programme. The first stall took place in Truro on Friday 27 January and the results of the “Opinionmeter” from the day can be seen above. Historically, of course, we used to have “Brexitometer” boards, but this title seems rather inappropriate now, and even though our ultimate hope is that the UK will rejoin the EU, there are other hurdles to overcome in the meantime.
Our usual aim when holding a street stall is to engage with the public to gauge their feelings on the problems faced by Cornwall, the UK as a whole, and on EU-related matters in particular. However, with this latest stall, we had two additional issues on which we wanted to focus.
The first of these was to raise awareness of the REUL (Retained EU Law) Bill and the issues surrounding it, and to publicise the fact that the European Movement are organising a national day of action on Saturday 4 February to protest against the bill. Cornwall for Europe will, of course, be taking part in this by holding a specific street stall in Truro on that day, and we would love as many of our members as possible to join us. Although there will be a street stall, we would like it to be more than that – we would like it to be a protest. We will have specific leaflets available giving additional information, as well as links for signing a petition and/or an open letter to government. The more people who join us, the more chance we have of getting the local press to cover the event, so please come along if you can.
The second main purpose of the latest stall was to talk to people about the proposed devolution for Cornwall, which will also mean that the appointment of a mayor will be compulsory. We want to make sure that residents are fully aware of the implications of this proposal so that they can form their own opinions and, hopefully, make their views known on the Public Consultation, which ends on 17 February.
If you’re unfamiliar with the details of the proposed Devolution Deal, you can find information here. Cornwall residents are being given the chance to voice their opinions in a consultation and there is still time to do this here. When considering the proposed changes, or responding to the consultation, it might be worth noting that even George Eustice, while speaking to the BBC recently, classed some of the elements of the proposal as “uncomfortable” and thought that devolution should not be dependent on a single mayor for Cornwall. This is an important matter that could change the future of Cornwall, so please make your voice heard before the Cornwall Council reach their final decision.
There will be more events in the coming weeks and months, so please keep an eye on the Events on our Facebook page: Cornwall for Europe.