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

We are still europeans

Campaigners for Britain and Cornwall to remain in the EU will still think of themselves as European, say Cornwall for Europe.

The group organised hundreds of street stalls over the last two years, as well as meetings, marches and publicity stunts to advertise their cause. They believe that it is still possible, even after Brexit, for people to feel the identity of being European, as well as British or Cornish.

They are holding a special members event on Friday evening and will have a candlelit vigil at 11pm as Britain leaves the EU.

Chair of CFE, Emmanuelle Brook said:  ‘We will not stop feeling European and we are determined not to carry on being silenced as we have been since the referendum. We are today standing for our rights, and core values. Our message is friendship and solidarity in this adversity.’ Emmanuelle, who has French/British joint citizenship, is also involved with the group In Limbo, which supports the millions of EU citizens who continue to live and work in the UK.

Charles Boney, Press officer commented: ‘We believe Britain has made an historic mistake in leaving the EU. Our task now is to help ensure our relationship with Europe is as close as possible and we hope for the best trade deal possible – no deal or a hard Brexit will be disastrous for the Cornish economy. Campaigners like ourselves up and down the country will ensure the ideals and values common across Europe will be heard. Cornwall for Europe will be monitoring how Brexit affects individuals and groups and responding to events as they develop.’

The campaigners have also stated that their plans for future activities and events have not yet been decided, but depend on political events as they unfold. Cornwall for Europe has several thousand members, including people from all main political parties, as well as a huge social media following.

EU campaigners urge tactical voting in Cornwall

Cornwall for Europe, the campaigners for the UK to remain in the EU, is urging its members and supporters to vote tactically so that Brexit candidates can be defeated. Polls suggest that the Conservatives might be re-elected in all 6 of the Cornish seats but in most seats the number of votes for pro Remain parties may be in a majority.

Howard Farmer, a Cornwall for Europe organiser says: ‘If people vote tactically then Cornwall can have some Remain MPs but if the anti Brexit vote is divided, then we will get the same as in 2015 and in 2017. We cannot change the electoral system but we can vote intelligently; for some people this means voting for a party that is their second choice. We believe that there are at least three seats that might change hands.’

There are a number of tactical voting websites that can be used to seek advice but Cornwall for Europe believes that they do not all  use the most reliable data. Indeed, some of them cause confusion as there may even be biased towards a particular Party. Emmanuelle Brook, Chair of Cornwall for Europe said: ‘ We have studied all the websites and we are urging voters to use for the best up-to-date advice. This shows all the best researched websites and makes the choice clear.’

The campaigners have also been asking shoppers about their views on the election, at street stalls in Cornish towns. Sue Winter, stalls organiser, said: ‘We’ve been asking if people are considering tactical voting and often over 60% of voters say they might. If only half of the third and fourth placed parties switched sides it could mean that 2 or 3 seats change hands. In addition, there are many people who have simply not yet made up their minds yet.’

Some shoppers have also talked about other issues in the election, especially concerns on the style and character of Boris Johnson. Charles Boney, Press Officer, said: ‘Issues like something that is buried at page 48 of the Tory manifesto – the pledge to investigate the powers of the Prime Minister using the Royal Prerogative. Sounds obscure, but it means that Johnson wants more power to silence Parliament when he wants,  and to give his Ministers extra powers to extend Laws without Parliament’s full approval and debate. He wants to get his revenge on the Supreme Court who ruled against him in October.’

EU campaigners organise Big Red Bus Tour of Cornwall

Cornwall for Europe, the campaigners for Cornwall and the UK to stay in the EU, are organising a tour of Cornwall in a London ‘bus, decked with their slogans. It will be travelling throughout the County from Thursday 14th November starting in Launceston and completing its journey at Saltash on Saturday 16th November.

Cornwall for Europe are inviting their supporters, members of the public and Remain election candidates to join them in their campaigning. There will be main stops at Launceston, St Austell, Camborne, Penzance, Truro and Saltash as well as various halts at Business venues and photo opportunities   (see full schedule attached below).

Howard Farmer, one of the tour organisers said: ‘In the 2016 referendum Johnson launched the infamous bus tour from Cornwall. Waving a pasty he claimed that huge amounts of cash would be spent on the NHS if we voted for Brexit. That claim is now known to be a lie. We will be travelling throughout Cornwall talking to people about how they were misled. We urge all Cornish voters to support candidates that want us to Remain in the EU. Cornwall has gained so much from our membership and we fear a big loss to the local economy if we leave. It will be a great chance for members of the public to meet us and local candidates. We are also stopping at business venues who overwhelmingly back our campaign.’

Sue Winter, who organises street stalls every week, is also joining the bus and added: ‘At each stop we will be setting up our stall and have leaflets available, including advice on how to register to vote and get a postal vote. People only have about 10 days to get any Postal Vote application in. With cold dark nights, and also young people away at University, there is a danger of a low turnout – everyone has a right to get a Postal Vote. We will also be using our ‘brexitometer’ which gives a snapshot of people’s views on the Brexit situation. In recent weeks, people seem to have shifted even more in favour of a People’s Vote on Brexit.’

Emmanuelle Brook, Chair of Cornwall for Europe said: ‘We have a positive and hopeful message for people. Being part of Europe is all about Peace, Prosperity and Opportunity. When you trade with others, you don’t end up fighting them. When you end barriers and have a single market, you become more prosperous. When you allow freedom of travel and work, you give opportunities especially to the young. We look forward and see ourselves as being European as well as being Cornish and British.’

Charles Boney, Press Officer, said: ‘This election is like no other in our lifetimes. It is not just a ‘Brexit election’ but it is about the future direction of the country. Whether to turn our backs on our neighbours, or to embrace the wider European culture of a continent of 500 million who want to be our friends.’

Bus schedule
Thursday 14th:   10.30   Launceston   Market Square PL15 8AG, 13.00   KCS Print , 14.30   St Austell   Fore Street PL25 5PY
Friday 15th: 1030   Camborne Town Square TR14 8AT1300   Hedforwards (successful large IT business)  meeting with CEO Toby Parkin and staff at Pool Innovation Centre, 1400   Marazion near Jordans Cafe, photo opp/interview with Andrew George and Caroline Voaden MEP, 1430   Market Jew Street (top)  TR18 2BD
Saturday 16th: 1030   Truro 4 Pydar Street TR1 2BD, 1430 Saltash Retail Park, Carkeel,  PL12 6.

Cornish campaigners march with a million in London

About 500 Cornish protesters marched with about a million others in the huge rally in London on Saturday to call for a Peoples Vote on any deal to leave the EU.Many were up at 3 am to join coaches from all over Cornwall. Cornwall for Europe, the campaign group to remain in the EU, organised 4 coaches at stop off points all over the County, with many others making their own way to the capital.

Coach organiser Howard Farmer said: ‘The dedication of our supporters is amazing – they were determined to get to London once again at any cost. This is the fourth time that many of them have been on huge demonstrations like this. Each time the numbers and enthusiasm grows.’The protesters rallied at the Achilles Monument in Hyde Park and sang campaign songs until joining the main march, including a pro EU version of Trelawny, as well as parodies of various shanties and folk songs, such as ‘What shall we do with this rotten Brexit’ to the tune of Drunken Sailor.

Tom Scott said: ‘The Cornish campaign has started something of a trend in adapting well known songs to the political message. It boosts people’s spirits on any march and gets across our message.’

Cornwall for Europe’s marchers included people of all ages. CFE Chair Emmanulle Brook was there with her young family and said:’Many of us feel we are campaigning for the future of our children and young people generally. That is why we sponsored tickets for students who may have struggled to meet travel costs. Over recent years there has been huge collaboration in education across Europe. That may all be at risk, including the Erasmus project which enables young people to travel and study abroad.’

As the marchers got near Parliament Square the result of the day’s important vote became clear – effectively a delay in considering the Prime Minister’s deal. Charles Boney, CFE Press Officer reacted: ‘This gives a breathing space for MPs to study the deal properly. In the short space available this week, most of them have not even read the details and have been voting on what the Party Whips have told them. We believe that, after careful consideration, they will conclude that only the People can decide to confirm the deal in a referendum or decide we should remain members of the EU.’

‘Right to meet, not Right to lie’ say EU Campaigners in Cornwall

Cornwall for Europe, the campaigners for the UK to stay in the EU, have reacted to demands from some supporters that they should protest at the meeting on Monday 14th October of Nigel Farage, who is holding a Brexit Party Rally in Cornwall (Carn Brea Leisure Centre from 6 pm).

Their Spokesman Charles Boney said: ‘Although we disagree about nearly everything Mr Farage ever says, he is still entitled to hold meetings and have his say. But he has a right to meet, not a Right to lie. During the 2016 Referendum he told two particular lies – firstly that £350 million per week could be spent on the NHS if we left the EU, secondly that over 70 million Turkish people were about to come to Britain, many of them being refugees.’Mr Boney added: ‘Mr Farage is carrying out his democratic right to campaign, but we urge him to do so truthfully and, if possible, apologise for the way he has campaigned in the past.’

Instead of holding a protest at the Brexit meeting Cornwall for Europe is holding its own street stall nearby in Camborne – in the town Square opposite WH Smith from 4 to 6 pm. Howard Farmer, stall organiser said: ‘We are encouraging our members to come and talk to the public who want to discuss the Brexit crisis.  We are not interest in ranting and sloganising. We believe the facts are clear – a non deal Brexit would be a disaster, and the best deal possible is to stay in the EU.’

The Campaigners have also announced that they have nearly filled 4 coaches to the huge London rally planned for next Saturday 19th October. Cornwall for Europe Chair, Emmanuelle Brook said: ‘ Tickets have sold even faster than the million plus march held last March. London will be packed with protesters. Many Cornish folks are travelling up for the weekend and we expect about 500 people to rally under Cornish flags to stop Brexit and call for a People’s Vote. If Parliament decides to call a referendum on any possible deal, then we will be back on the streets in Cornwall next Monday persuading people to vote to stay in the EU.’

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.’