Saturday, 25 June 2016

Comment on EU referendum result

The people of the United Kingdom have voted to leave the European Union. Here in Cornwall, 56.5% backed “Brexit,” while the people of Northern Ireland and Scotland voted to stay in the EU.

It is well-documented that I backed the “remain” campaign and I am obviously very disappointed that a majority of voters took a different stance.

But whatever our views, we are fortunate to live in a modern democracy and, as the Prime Minister quite rightly said in this resignation speech, the will of the British people must “be respected" and “it is an instruction that must be delivered.”

We are, though, entering a period of great economic and political uncertainty, particularly around the complex negotiations for secession and what this will mean for the United Kingdom and what it will mean for ordinary people.

David Cameron has pledged that, from this point forward, the Government will ensure that the “interests of all parts of our United Kingdom are protected and advanced,” and this will involve the “full engagement of the Scottish, Welsh and Northern Ireland governments.”

Yet the First Minister of Scotland, Nicola Sturgeon, has already announced plans for a second referendum on Scottish independence, while leading nationalist politicians in Northern Ireland have started to push for a referendum on a united Ireland.

As the leader of MK, I am particularly concerned about how “Brexit” will impact on Cornwall which, I think it is fair to say, is never one of the Government’s top priorities.

We all know that Cornwall is one of the poorest parts of the UK and suffers from under-investment from central government, and has been an area which, for a number of years, has been a beneficiary of EU structural funding.

But we have not heard much from the leadership of the Leave campaign about how Cornwall’s best interests will be safeguarded.

John Pollard, the leader of Cornwall Council, has already confirmed that he will be making representations to demand that the “UK Government protects Cornwall’s position in any negotiations,” and that our communities receive “investment equal to that provided” by present EU programmes.

Such concerns have made the London newspapers, though there has been a somewhat sarcastic edge to the coverage with headlines such as “Cornwall votes for Brexit and then pleads to keep EU funding …”

It is my view that the people of Cornwall have a massive job to do in the coming weeks and months. We must, as far as possible, be united and we must do everything we can to pressure Westminster politicians to stand up for Cornwall and its communities as they works through the implications of leaving the EU.

[This will be my article in the coming week's Cornish Guardian].

11 comments:

Scott mapesburyGreen said...

Follow Scotlands lead, Sturgeon has played things very well. The reason Cornish rejected the EU despite bribes is because its not sustainable. Think back to the famous Grafiti on Crofty: "what are cornish men to do?"

Without the EU, traditional trades can come back and Cornwall if independent has the opportunity to offer tax incentives for business (pref Green tech to start).

We reject westminster as it is remote, the EU was further away. A new constitutional settlement for Britain provides an opportunty for Cornish to get more of a say!

Listen to locals who voted leave and why... A cornish assembly can tackle their concerns.

Loveday Jenkin MK PPC said...

Unfortunately. This government is not offering a Cornish assembly or any meaningful devolution.

Loveday Jenkin MK PPC said...

Unfortunately. This government is not offering a Cornish assembly or any meaningful devolution.

Dave Holmes said...

Thanks for a measured and sensible reaction to a result that disappointed you, Mr Cole.
I was disappointed that MK took the stance to support remain and I hope they now accept that the Cornish people didn't agree. Labour have ignored their grass roots supporters and supported remain, a big mistake. The Conservatives did the same and many of their supporters voted out.
MK need to become more in touch with Cornish voters if they want people to vote for them. I was probably going to vote MK next time as I am completely disillusioned with Cameron and his pathetic attempts to justify his EU reforms, which amounted to virtually nothing. Corbyn did the same, abandoning his principles to toe the party line.
MK should have seen what was going to happen in Cornwall, with fishermen and farmers completely let down by the EU. Keep fighting for Cornwall.

PaulS said...

Scott is absolutely right. MK have been avoiding the issue of the ultimate goal of Cornish Devolution and your insistence on Cornish Assembly, rather than Cornish Parliament in an Independent country has allowed the opposition to dilute, bypass and emasculate even the meek proposals put forward by MK.
Be realistic, propose radical alternative. After all, your current strategy is failing spectacularly. Here are a few ideas:

I have a dream ...

Independent Cornish Republic with a non-politician president and proportionally elected Parliament, written constitution and policies such as these:

1. Aim for sustainability, self-sufficiency and resilience
2. Stop burning fossil fuels (cars, trucks, planes, electricity, public transport, manufacturing)
3. Aim for 100% renewable energy, incl subsidies for less well developed systems and storage systems
4. Aim for near 100% self-sufficiency in food. Target farming subsidies at sustainable agriculture and not at shooting estates or hill farming
5. Re-forest Moors for fuel, construction material and biodiversity
6. Reclaim 200 mile fishing limit and establish large no-fishing zones for stock recovery
7. Allow Cornish Sterling to fall: expensive imports => fewer imports => more local production
8. Set a minimum tax rate for all companies operating in Cornwall and charge excess if taxed elsewhere at a lower rate.
9. Set a maximum ratio of lowest to average to top salaries at about 10 times by taxing anything above that at 95%
10. Set a maximum asset value owned by any one individual
11. All assets to be owned only by Cornish passport holders. Cornish nationality to be exclusive - so everyone has to choose
12. Tax all companies on the basis of their world wide profits scaled down to Cornish turnover
13. Aim for economic and population de-growth
14. Consider introducing Basic Income

Now that the breakup of the UK is on the cards, maybe we can start the journey from a dream to reality

Scott mapesburyGreen said...

Its the role of Mebyon Kernow to start calling for it as a means to tackle the concerns of cornish people.

Martin Mcguinnis of Sein Fein is calling for Irish unification, Nicola Sturgeon is going for a second indy ref. There will be a new constitutional settlement for the UK and its coming fast. Its time to play with the hand we've got!

Scott mapesburyGreen said...

I would vote for this! In addition think of the income a Cornish state would have if it took back the Cornish Assets that Prince Charles uses to make his living!

Malcolm Cook said...

Now is the time to press hard for any/all Cornish advantage. Ensure that what has been lost from the wallet is replaced by the vote at this time heightened democratic awareness and engage people today! All day and tomorrow and the next day, tell everyone with ears that are listening...

If the Cornish do not help themselves out at this time with all hands on deck to make things as ship shape and (Ahem!) Bristol fashion I fear a level of abandonment and cruelty previously never experienced. Perhaps my fears are unjustified, perhaps they are prophetic..?

Time go and lay on a few spreads of pasties and Cream Tea's in the other Celtic regions, eat some Haggis, drink some Guinness and have a continental brunch with Emgann???

A;though I'm not so sure the dress code of stripey Breton t-shirt and kilt under a smock would make any cat walks soon. I'm there's some fashion students at the Uni or college who spin an interesting take on that outfit for a photo shoot or two! ;) Cornwall fashion week and all that...

Joking aside it is high time the global footprint of the Cornish made some noise for the homeland's integrity and independence.

[Insert Cornish language phrase of desire here.]

Perhaps the phrase not written above is the new slogan moving forward?

PaulS said...

No follow up comments? No action? No result? Why am I not surprised?

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