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What do EU candidates think about proposal for National Assembly of Cornwall?
The St Austell and Newquay Constituency Party of MK recently sent a copy of the MK booklet “Towards a National Assembly of Cornwall” to all candidates standing in the “south west” seat for the European Parliament. We requested that the candidates give their personal view – and that of their party – on the proposal for a Cornish Assembly.

 We can confirm the following:
  • The Green Party has confirmed that they fully support the push for a Cornish Assembly.
  • One English Democrat candidate (Jenny Knight) said she was supportive of an Assembly.
  • One UKIP candidate (Stephen Lee) replied but was non-committal.
  • Two independents (Larch Maxey and Neville Seed) said they were supportive of an Assembly.
Not one candidate from Change UK, Conservatives, Labour, Lib Dems or The Brexit Party replied.

THE GREEN PARTY (TOM SCOTT ON BEHALF OF THE GREEN LIST)

I’m happy to say that I very much agree with the thrust of the proposals for this outlined in the leaflet that you sent, and that for some time now this has also been Green Party policy, as agreed by our members at our party conference. To quote from our policy document on public administration:

“The Green Party recognises that Cornwall has a distinct historical and geographical identity, and supports (and will actively campaign for) the establishment of an Assembly for Cornwall, with similar powers to those of the Welsh Assembly, which will be supported, in turn, by a new local government structure promoting subsidiarity.

“Any such region should be able to decide, via a referendum of the citizens living within it, to create a directly elected regional assembly as an additional tier of government.

“These regional assemblies would take over the powers of region-wide non governmental agencies, and adapt their existing bureaucracies to serve the new Assembly. Funding would, in the initial stages, come from diverting the existing block grant regional funding allocated by central Government.

“The particular form and structure of these regional assemblies set up under will vary from region to region according to regional circumstances. They should be elected by a system of proportional representation. The appropriate form and structure will be determined by regional constitutional conventions drawn from all sectors of society, similar to the Scottish Constitutional Convention.”

In the EU context, subsidiarity – regional and local self-government enabling decisions to be democratically made as closely as possible to the people they affect – is one of the basic principles of the European Union, and one which was strongly restated with the signing of the Lisbon Treaty in 2009. It is a principle with which with which the Green Party wholeheartedly agrees – we think power should flow upwards from the people rather than downwards from an over-centralised state.

I also agree with you that it would be very much to Cornwall’s advantage at EU level to have a regional assembly with representation at EU level, e.g. in the Committee of the Regions.

In my view, one reason that the Brexit referendum of 2016 went the way that it did is because people do not feel properly represented by our current electoral and constitutional arrangements – and I think the chaos and confusion that has resulted should be an urgent wake-up call prompting a fresh look at these. As Caroline Lucas said earlier this year:

“Brexit shows no sign of giving us back ‘control’ or changing the way we’re ruled. A People’s Vote should be the starting gun on the race to genuinely democratise the UK. Looking anew at the way Britain is governed, not just by the EU but by Westminster as well. We are one of the most centralised countries in Europe, with disproportionate power held at Westminster, and far too little in our regions and local authorities. Powers need to go back to the regions of the UK, where people have a better chance of influencing it.”

JENNY KNIGHT (ENGLISH DEMOCRATS)

Many thanks for your policy booklet "Towards a National Assembly of Cornwall."

I am the English Democrats candidate for the Sth West + Gibraltar in the forthcoming elections. I was asked to record a minute manifesto for local radio which I have to say sounds unnaturally fast due to the time factor! However, I thought you might be interested and please share it as you see fit.

Good Luck with your National Assembly and self determination for Cornwall.

UKIP (STEPHEN LEE)

You sent me your devolution leaflet I assume because I am a Euro candidate for the South West. Bearing in mind I am only 5th on the UKIP list I would not get very excited about my chances of success or my opinion. Hopefully even if I won I will not need to take my seat at Brussels, at least for very long. Even if I were to win a seat, as members of the European Parliament have only a tiny influence either in the UK or the EU I doubt that my opinion on Cornwall having it's own assembly will have much significance.

I am not aware of UKIP policy on the subject - I have no-one to ask today. At the moment we are bogged down with both local and EU elections but I am interested in the subject. On a personal level I am torn between smaller central government and accountability. You might argue that a devolved government is more accountable. My opinion is that can only work under proportional representation to avoid the formation of potentially corrupt cliques forming.

I just looked at our local policies and they do not mention local assemblies. Please see Local Government at https://www.ukip.org/ukip-manifesto.php

DE LARCH MAXEY

As a Welsh Speaker who'se seen the difference a National Assembly made to Wales I am highly supportive of a Cornish Assembly.

As a Climate and Ecological Emergency Independent my focus is on the Climate and Ecological Emergency. As The UN General Secretary has said, if we do not turn things around by the end of this year, 2019, we risk the extinction of our species. Everything is at stake so we must do everything we can and research and history suggest that means mass participation civil disobedience as politics alone will not be enough..

I welcome the move towards more democracy that a Cornish Assembly offers and have a question which would help me get behind a Cornish Assembly: Is MK willing to commit to using Citizens' Assemblies within the National Assembly - thus allowing people to have a real direct voice and role in democracy?

One of our aims is National Citizen Assemblies on Climate & Ecological Justice

1. The Council of Ministers and the European Parliament must tell the truth and take action to declare a Climate and Ecological Emergency.
2. The Emergency Declaration must demand a zero carbon Europe by a date no later than 2030.
3. National Citizen Assemblies on Climate & Ecological Justice must be instituted and have a leading role in shaping a zero carbon Europe.

NEVILLE SEED

I have long thought that more needs to be done and am a supporter of a proposed national assembly similar to that of Wales.

It is a shame you did not peruse this in 2004 when the North East rejected such an assembly. Having grown up in the North East and having family there I understand the differences between the 2 regions and why a rejection there should not dissuade you pursuing a Cornwall assembly.

I have made a reference to this problem on my campaign website in the policies section https://nevilleseed.co.uk/policies/. Your policy booklet is however far superior.

If elected I will do all I can to help bring about a Cornwall assembly as I feel the area is overlooked by the main political parties.

If possible I would like to know your viewpoints on the fishing industry and how you see being impacted by Brexit or the lack of it.
Information, Tags and Sharing
By Dick Cole. Published on 22nd May 2019.

Cornish Assembly Campaign
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The St Austell and Newquay Constituency Party of MK recently sent a copy of the MK booklet “Towards a National Assembly of Cornwall” to all candidates standing in the “south west” seat for the European Parliament. We requested that the candidates give their personal view – and that of their party – on the proposal for a Cornish Assembly.
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