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:

As the UK teeters on the brink of a ‘Blind Brexit’, Cornish protest shanty goes viral

With mounting chaos at Westminster as Theresa May makes a last-ditch attempt to push through her Brexit deal, shanty singers from Cornwall have become a social media sensation with their version of an old favourite: ‘What shall we do with this rotten Brexit’.

The shanty includes various suggestions as to what to do with Jacob Rees-Mogg, Boris Johnson, Nigel Farage and other leading Brexiters, and was sung by several hundred people from Cornwall at the People’s Vote march in London last Saturday. But it was a video of a large crowd in Truro singing it at a rally held in solidarity with the London marchers that is being shared widely on Twitter and Facebook.

The video shows some 300 people outside Truro Library laughing uproariously as they sing:

What shall we do with Jacob Rees-Mogg?
Put him offshore where he keeps his money!

What shall we do with Nigel Farage?
Send him off to Trump with a one-way ticket

The shanty also has a suggestion as to what needs to happen to break the current deadlock at Westminster:

What shall we do with this rotten Brexit?
Let’s have a vote and see who wants it!

Tom Scott of Cornwall for Europe, the Falmouth-based poet and lecturer who adapted the shanty, said:

“Lots of people have been in touch with us to say that the sight of hundreds of us from Cornwall singing this shanty and our People’s Vote version of Trelawny, under a sea of St Piran flags, was one of the highlights of the march. But I think what’s caught the imagination of people on social media is to see so many ordinary people in Cornwall gathered together to express their opposition to this Brexit mess.

“The words of the shanty have cheered people up at a time when a very bleak future seems to be looming for Cornwall and the UK as a whole. Humour can be a powerful political weapon, and the sheer absurdity of Jacob Rees-Mogg and Boris Johnson voting for a deal which they have previously said will turn the UK into a ‘slave state’ deserves to be laughed at.

“These politicians have pushed Britain to the brink of disaster and they are refusing to take any responsibility for the catastrophic mess that they have created, attempting to blame everyone but themselves.”

Cornwall for Europe has been running street stalls all over Cornwall for over a year, and the group says that everywhere they go they find strong opposition to Brexit and many people who voted Leave in 2016 who have changed their minds.

“What’s really changed is that Brexit is no longer an abstract proposition built on windy rhetoric,” says the group’s Chair, Emmanuelle Brook. “People can see that they were lied to about all that extra money from the NHS and all those wonderful trade deals.

“Many people in Cornwall are already experiencing negative impacts form Brexit, or have friends and relatives who are – lost business, lost jobs and intense anxiety about what the future holds.

“One man from Camborne told us that the carers from the EU who were looking after his mother, who suffers from dementia, are all returning home. A man who runs a medical equipment manufacturer told us that he has already lost over a million pounds in business and is having to make plans to lay off staff.  A crab fisherman from Looe told us that his business exporting live crab and lobster faces ruin if tariffs make his exports uncompetitive and customs checks and red tape mean that his catch is rotting by the time it reaches customers in Spain.

“We are talking to hundreds of people, week in, week out, on the streets of towns all over Cornwall. We know that Brexit no longer has majority support here, and every national opinion poll has shown that this is true for the whole of the UK, and has been for at least the last year. Our group has seen hundreds of new members joining every week, and we now have more social media followers than all the political party pages in Cornwall combined.

“People are sick of Brexit and want to be able to express this. They want to be consulted on the best way forward out of this disaster. And with Parliament totally divided and unable to agree on a solution, we think there is only one way to settle this once and for all.

“In the words of our shanty: Let’s have a vote and see who wants it!.”

Cornwall supports Put It To The People

Hundreds of Cornish flags and placards were waved in the streets of central London as about 750 people from Cornwall took part in the national march for a ‘People’s Vote’ on Brexit on Saturday 23rd March. Four packed coaches, organised by Cornwall for Europe,  went from towns across Cornwall and many more supporters made their own way up to London.

‘We sent about four times the number that went on a similar march last October, so we believe that over a million people marched to support the demand for a new vote on any Brexit deal, with an option to remain in the EU’ said Howard Farmer one of the coach organisers. ‘We sang songs, waved placards and flags, blew whistles and joined in an amazing festival atmosphere. A real carnival with no trouble and hardly any police around at all.’

The Cornwall marchers assemble in Hyde Park

One of the marchers was Tom Scott who runs Cornwall for Europe social media accounts said. ‘We have been bombarded with good wishes, pictures and videos on our facebook and twitter accounts. People have become very excited about the campaign. The crowd was so big that we did not get to Parliament square – we stopped well short but were able to see some speeches on large screens. In particular Michael Heseltine was impressive, with many folks from a business and Conservative background respecting his views. We have members from across the political spectrum so it was great to see speakers from all sides.’

And in Truro….

Truro rally

Cornwall for Europe organised a street stall and rally in Truro for supporters who could not make it to London. They were surprised at the large crowd that attended to hear speakers from across the political spectrum, including Liberal Democrat, Greens and Labour. Charles Boney, Cornwall for Europe Press Officer said: ‘We were taken aback at the support at home. It was meant to be a low key event but instead over 350 turned up to a great political rally – a cross party call for Cornwall to have another say. Many people signed up to our campaign and will become actively involved when we have the chance in a new referendum.’

And on the beaches …

Supporters of the marches and rallies in London and Truro also took to the beaches, using the very low tide to get their message across with sand art imagery drawn in the wet sand. ‘It has been great to look down from the cliff top and see people marking out their support on the beach. Such a fun and family  friendly activity. Taking children and dogs on marches is not ideal so this was a way everyone could make their point’ said Sue Winter, a campaigner from Camborne.

We were there on the beaches

Cornwall for Europe continue to campaign throughout the county with street stalls, meetings and rallies being organised in the weeks and months to come. Campaign Chair, Emmanuelle Brook who has French/British dual nationality says it may be a long campaign. ‘We will carry on fighting as we believe in the end their will be a People’s Vote and we believe Cornwall has changed her mind since 2016. We believe in peace, prosperity and opportunity. Trading together guarantees peace, European Regional policy gives prosperity to Cornwall, and young people have far more opportunities in an open and united Europe.’