I interviewed a range of people from Falmouth in Cornwall and asked them their views on the EU referendum, that’s due to take place on the 23rd June this year…
By Emily Furness
Cornish MPs fight to support the Cornish language despite its annual £150,000 funding being stopped.
The majority of Cornish MPs took their oath in Cornish and are disappointed at the Department of Communities and Local Government’s decision to stop all finding for the Cornish language, since it was recognised as a regional and minority language in 2003.
Sarah Newton, MP for Truro and Falmouth, said: “I took my oath of allegiance in Cornish as I had been asked to do so by some of my constituents and as I knew it meant a lot to them, I was pleased to do so.”
Cornish MPs such as Sarah Newton bid to keep funding for the minority language.
Newton, added: “I am disappointed that the bid was unsuccessful on this occasion…. I will continue to work with my colleagues and Cornwall Council to ensure that the Cornish language as well as Cornish culture and history continues to flourish.”
There are only 300-500 fluent Cornish language speakers in Cornwall. However, there are a larger number of people with some Cornish and who are learning.
Over 1,000 people have subscribed to the online course “Say Something in Cornish,” run by the Cornish language partnership, Maga.
Mark Trevethan, Head of the Cornish Language Unit, Cornwall Council said: “Official backing and funding for the language over the last 10 years has made a massive difference to increasing visibility of the language, changing perceptions of the language, creating resources to make it easier to study Cornish.”
George Eustice, MP for Camborne, Redruth and Hayle also took his oath in Cornish and is looking to find alternative ways to fund the language since the cuts.
Eustice said: “I will be exploring alternative sources of government funding to support the wider development of Cornwall’s culture and heritage through the new Kresen Kernow centre in Redruth, this could include providing support for the Cornish language.”
MPs of Cornwall are working with the Cornish language, community and representative organisations such as the Gorseth, to develop a strategy on how to safeguard and grow the Cornish language in the future.
By Emily Furness
The outcome of the referendum to be held on Thursday, 23 June 2016 to decide whether Britain stays in or leaves the European Union, will majorly affect Cornwall’s fishing industry.
Cornwall has received more than £1bn from the EU over the past fifteen years and over £1.8 million from the European Fisheries Fund (EFF).
Andy Wheeler, Assistant to the Chief Executive of Cornish Fish Producers Organisation (CFPO) said: “Leaving the EU could mean trade tariffs being imposed or restrictions on direct landings into French ports by Cornish vessels, and restricts access to French and Irish waters, which means profits within the Cornish fishing industry could be depleted.”
The £1.8 million of the European Fisheries Fund has been devoted to support the sustainable development of fishing communities in Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly.
Local inshore fisherman of Falmouth, Chris Bean, said: “I’m definitely going to vote to stay in the EU, as an inshore fisherman the only protection we really have is the EU umbrella of quotas and sustainable fishing.”
Bean added: “EU council ministers in the Common Fisheries Agricultural Policy are moving more to the left and more for conservation to help the small vessel. If we move out of the EU, we will be at the mercy in the UK of the big vessel owners and big corporations…they will call the shots.”
A majority of fishermen in Falmouth are keen “outers” or Euroscpetics as they would be free of EU quotas and in the long term it could mean that fishermen are allowed to catch more fish.
George Eustice, MP for Camborne, Redruth and Hayle, said: “Outside the EU, we would re-establish national control for 200 nautical miles or the median line as provided for in international law…we could argue for a fairer share of quota allocations in many fish stocks.”
Some Cornish MPs are voting to leave the EU and feel that this decision will benefit the Cornish Industry.
Scott Mann, MP for North Cornwall, said: “Our fishermen have been decimated by the EU, and only by leaving can they get their waters back and not have to contend with foreign trawlers who plunder their stocks.”
Both the Eurosceptics and Europhiles of Cornwall are both in agreement that the European referendum holds great uncertainty for the Cornish fishing industry.
Date reported on: 26/04/16 Words: 222