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.

Musical Monday

Campaigners from Cornwall for Europe have travelled to London for the third time in a month to lobby Parliament, trying to persuade MPs to stop brexit by calling a new ‘People’s Vote’ on any deal. On Monday they travelled to take part in a ‘musical Monday’ called by the well known anti Brexit activist Steve Bray who waves placards and heckles press interviews with his megaphone.

But this time something different was used as a tactic. Groups from all over the country were invited to sing their own versions of well known songs and shanties about brexit. ‘What shall we do with this rotten Brexit?’ to the tune of Drunken Sailor is one of the group’s favourites. Howard Farmer, one of organisers, said: ‘Was it the Emperor Nero who is said to have fiddled on the violin while Rome burnt? Well, Parliament is frozen and incapable of making a decision, so we thought we would come to London and sing while Brexit burns this country apart.’

Cornwall for Europe, North Yorks for Europe, Tunbridge Wells for Europe and SODEM were joined by Berry Sbeerman MP and others during the simg+off


They also took with them home made scones, jam and Cornish clotted cream to nourish themselves and fellow singers, especially some visitors from Yorkshire. Emmanuelle Brooke, Cornwall for Europe Chair said: ‘We cannot miss any opportunity to educate potential visitors to Cornwall which way up to have their cream and jam.’

Stalwart anti-Brexit campaigner Steve Bray enjoys a scone the Cornish way

Press Officer, Charles Boney said the campaign would continue to do everything possible to press for action. ‘Parliament is at a stalemate. Now Brexit is delayed for up to six months, it seems the politicians have relaxed and are letting time slip by. Both main parties are so divided that we have no effective Government in this country. We are becoming a laughing stock across the world. My biggest fear is that other countries are looking at us with sadness and thinking ‘strike a trade deal with the UK? Really? Why?’