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.’

One hundred street stalls

Cornwall for Europe, the grass roots campaign to remain in the EU, are increasing their campaigning in the run up to vital votes in the Commons next week.

‘We expect Cornish MPs to vote to avoid a no deal exit at the end of March which would be a disaster for the Cornish economy’ says their Chair, Emmanuelle Brook.

‘Agriculture would face immediate high tariffs on exports and fish would face delays risking freshness and quality. We are pleased that Sarah Newton, Truro MP, has seen sense and told a recent Chamber meeting she would refuse to back a no deal Brexit. We call on the other Cornish MPs to follow her lead.’

In recent months they have been running street stalls all over Cornwall and will be celebrated their 100th stall in Penzance on Wednesday 6th March (from 10.30.Market Jew Street near Lloyds)

Their Brexitometer surveys ask people to tell them their views on Brexit.

Howard Farmer, stalls organiser, says ‘The vast majority tell us they believe they will be worse off under Brexit. And a big majority want Brexit delayed. They believe Parliament has failed and the People should have the chance to have their say again’.

One of the Cornwall for Europe street stall teams in Looe earlier this year

Hundreds of people are now planning to get to London for a huge rally on 23rd March. ‘ Last October we sent a coach to London to join the 700,000 others marching for a People’s Vote. This month we have already booked three coaches with many others finding their own transport.’ says Sue Winter who is helping plan the coaches and runs many of the stalls.. ‘We believe Cornwall will send three times the number protesters because we think that Cornwall has changed her mind on Brexit. The march will be massive.’

Cornwall for Europe now has a huge social media presence. Tom Scott, who runs its facebook and twitter pages says ‘We now have more Cornish followers than any political party or MP. Our membership grows daily and we have become a real force. We will remain a cross party organisation focused entirely Britain playing a positive role in Europe.We urge all our supporters to make contact with the 5 Cornish MPs who have not yet declared clearly how their will vote next week.’