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!.”

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.’