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The European elections
On Thursday, voters will be going to the polls in the controversial elections to the European Parliament, which have, unsurprisingly, been dominated by Brexit. Along with many others, I am nervous about what a post-Brexit future will hold for Cornwall and whether our communities will be a priority for the Westminster Parliament.
I do worry that powers “repatriated” from the European Union will largely be centralised in London, and there will be no democratic dividend for Cornwall and the other nations and regions of the UK. I would also question whether there will be any appetite from central government to tackle inequality across the UK or to reverse the decades-long under-investment into areas away from the South East.

It has been widely reported that Mebyon Kernow is not contesting the “south west” seat in these elections– not least because it stretches from the Isles of Scilly to Wiltshire via Gibraltar. Because of this, MK members in the St Austell and Newquay Constituency decided to take the opportunity to write to MEP candidates to find out if they support the proposal for a Cornish Assembly.

My colleagues were very disappointed that they did not receive a single reply from candidates representing Change UK, the Conservatives, the Labour Party, the Liberal Democrats or The Brexit Party.

On a more positive note, the Green Party’s list confirmed that they fully support greater self-government for Cornwall, adding that “Cornwall has a distinct historical and geographical identity” and pledging to support and actively campaign for “the establishment of an Assembly for Cornwall, with similar powers to those of the Welsh Assembly.”

I was pleased that they also criticised the over-centralised nature of the British state and recognised the disproportionate power held at Westminster, and the need to give power back to the regions of the UK.

In addition, one English Democrat candidate said she was supportive of an Assembly, as were two of the independents (Larch Maxey and Neville Seed). One UKIP candidate also replied but did not express an opinion.

It will therefore surprise no-one that I will be voting for the Green Party in the European Parliament elections.

I would add that MK has co-operated with the Greens on a number of occasions during the last 25 years and they sit in the same progressive group in the European Parliament as the European Free Alliance (of which MK is a member along with our sister parties Plaid Cymru, the SNP and the Yorkshire Party).

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By Dick Cole. Published on 22nd May 2019.

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