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Mebyon Kernow condemns approach of UK Government to Brexit
At a Policy Forum on Friday (22nd June), Mebyon Kernow members hit out at the failure of Theresa May’s Government to “address, or even acknowledge, Cornwall’s distinct needs in its approach to leaving the European Union.”

Party members challenged the UK Government and all London-centred political parties “to put Cornwall’s national interest at the heart of the Brexit process.”

They also slammed the refusal of the UK Government to guarantee levels of investment into Cornwall to make up for the loss of EU structural funding, as well as its failure to “produce a report about the economic and other impacts” of Brexit on Cornwall.

In addition, the Policy Forum criticised the ongoing “Westminster power-grab,” with powers “repatriated” from the European Union likely to be centralised in London.

The meeting called for the “UK Government and all Westminster parties to link the ‘repatriation’ of powers to the need for a new democratic settlement for the whole of the United Kingdom,” which it emphasised must include meaningful devolution to Cornwall through the creation of a National Assembly.

Many at the meeting made it clear they had no faith in the Westminster establishment to act in the best interests of Cornwall, and a number of speakers spoke in favour of a “peoples vote” on the final deal negotiated by the UK Government. This was not ruled out by those present at the Policy Forum.

Further information

The full policy position agreed by the Policy Forum was as follows:

  • Notes the result of the referendum result from 2016 and acknowledges that the majority of Cornish voters who took part in the poll voted to leave the European Union.
  • Asserts that the UK Government (plus associated Westminster establishment) is failing Cornwall in its approach to Brexit, and the associated negotiations with the continuing member-states of the EU.
  • Condemns the abject failure of the UK Government to address, or even acknowledge, Cornwall’s distinct needs in its approach to leaving the European Union.
  • Raises concerns about the failure of the UK Government to produce a report about the economic and other impacts (of leaving the EU) on Cornwall.
  • Notes further concerns that the UK Government has refused to promote a less damaging form of Brexit, and calls on it to reconsider UK inclusion within the Customs Union or the Single Market which can be negotiated separately from formal membership of the EU.
  • Also raises concerns about how the UK Government has failed to address a series of issues of particular significance to Cornwall. These include:

    • The rights of EU citizens, many of whom are key employees within the public sector (including the NHS), education, agriculture / horticulture and tourism.  
    • The impact of Brexit on traditional industries such as farming and fishing, which are clearly not the priority for the present Government.
    • The loss of EU structural funding to Cornwall and the failure of the UK Government to install measures in its proposed “UK Shared Prosperity Fund” to safeguard investment levels into Cornish communities.
    • The lack of safeguards for “peripheral” areas such as Cornwall, which have historically received less funding for core public services and less investment into infrastructure than areas such as London and the South East of England.
    • And even the lack of guarantees that protections for regional foods would continue.

  • Condemns the failure of the UK Government to adhere to the Framework Convention for the Protection of National Minorities.
  • Challenges the UK Government and all Westminster parties to put Cornwall’s national interest at the heart of the Brexit process going forward; and to ensure that Cornwall achieves the best possible deal when it comes to leaving the EU.
  • Also condemns the UK Government’s failure to properly engage with the devolved administrations in Scotland and Wales, along with the elected representatives from the English regions.
  • Praises the SNP in the Scottish Parliament and Plaid Cymru in the National Assembly for Wales for passing EU Continuity Bills to prevent a “Westminster power-grab,” and ensure that powers “repatriated” from the European Union should not all be centralised in London, undermining the democratic basis of the devolved administrations.
  • Condemns the UK Government for its efforts to undermine the EU Continuity Bills passed by the Scottish Parliament and the National Assembly for Wales.
  • Calls for the UK Government and all Westminster parties to link the “repatriation” of powers to the need for a new democratic settlement for the whole of the United Kingdom, which must include devolution to Cornwall with the creation of a National Assembly of Cornwall, with meaningful powers to safeguard what is in the best interests of Cornish communities.
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By Dick Cole. Published on 25th June 2018.

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