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.

Cornish campaigners on the march in London in huge numbers

Put it to the People march – London 23rd March

Campaigners against Britain leaving the EU will be travelling to London this weekend in huge numbers to support the ‘Put it to the People’ march and rally. They have organised 4 coaches of their own, leaving from towns across Cornwall soon after 4 a.m. and many supporters are travelling by all other means to get to the protest. Last October they sent only one coach but believe about 300 in total rallied under Cornish flags.

Cornwall for Europe at the People’s Vote march in London, October 2018

They say this time support is far bigger: ‘We will be waving flags, holding banners and singing to show our support for the EU. This will be a massive show of strength from Cornwall. Last October a total of 700,000 were on the march. We think this demonstration may be the biggest protest of all time on any issue’ says Emmanuelle Brook, Chair of Cornwall for Europe. ‘MPs must take notice this time’.

Our Children’s future – Truro speaks

And in Cornwall itself, those not able to get to London will be staging protests as well. In Truro, there will be a stall near the Library from 10.30 and a rally at 12 noon with speakers invited from across all political parties (except UKIP!). They will be asking shoppers to sign a ‘Door to our children’s future’ stating their thoughts about Brexit.

Organiser Howard Farmer says ‘in recent weeks we have been asking people to state their views – and many give heart felt pleas for the coming generations. They believe our economy and our standing in the world will be diminished if Brexit of any kind happens.’

Low tide ‘Sand Art’ event

Around the Cornish coast people are being asked to use the chance of a low tide during the day to lend their support. ‘We are asking for people to engage in some ‘sand art’ by marking out a Put it to the People circle with CornwallForEurope.org attached as a show of support for the marchers in London.’ says Tom Scott, Cornwall for Europe Social media officer. ‘It’s difficult for some folks to make it to London or even Truro so everyone has a chance to have their say.’

Cornwall for Europe has grown rapidly in recent months, organising over 120 street stalls, holding public meetings and building up membership and organisation. ‘We now have more members and social media followers than any political party in Cornwall and we are a force to be reckoned with’ says Charles Boney, Press Officer ‘but we are a cross party group and welcome anyone who supports our campaign to stay in Europe.’

May’s deal defeated again

Cornish Campaigners have reacted with delight at the defeat of Theresa May’s withdrawal agreement.

On Tuesday 12th March they held a number of street stalls throughout Cornwall campaigning for Cornwall and the country to remain as members of the EU. Stalls were held in Penzance, Camborne, Truro and Newquay. ‘Despite the appalling weather this morning we were met with our usual friendly welcome by most people’ said Howard Farmer, one of the Cornwall for Europe organisers. ‘Most people think they will be worse off under Brexit and also believe Article 50 should be delayed. They were hoping that Mrs May would be defeated and cannot understand what is going on up in London. We share their delight at the outcome tonight.’

The campaigners were also selling the last few tickets for coaches to the demonstration in London on 23rd March. ‘ We’ve nearly filled 4 coaches and hundreds of others are finding their own way from Cornwall to join the massive national demonstration calling for a People’s Vote.’ said Emmanuelle Brook, Cornwall for Europe Chair. ‘In October we joined over 700,000 others and this time we know that three times as many people as then will be getting to London. There is a huge groundswell of opinion that Parliament has failed and it should be put back to the people to decide.’

In only a few months Cornwall for Europe has built up a membership and social media following that rivals any of the political parties in Cornwall. ‘We are not a political party but an all party campaign that focuses on the benefits of Cornwall being a member of the EU’ said Tom Scott, who runs the CfE Facebook and Twitter accounts. ‘The EU regional economic policy has recognised that areas like Cornwall need help to develop properly – Falmouth University, the Eden Project, Newquay Airport and many other projects have benefited from EU grants, as well as hundreds of Village and Community halls throughout Cornwall. The Government has failed to give any guarantee over the future for this help. Instead they have announced help for some northern towns with only a very small allowance for Cornwall.’

Cornwall for Europe is increasing its campaigning in the weeks ahead and laying down plans for the possibility of a new Referendum. ‘Last time we don’t think there was a positive message about us being in Europe – we left it mostly to the national campaigners with a message that didn’t get through. We now believe that we are getting the message across that Cornwall is better off in Europe and that Cornwall is changing her mind’ says Charles Boney, CfE Press Officer.


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.’