Cornwall Council has called on Whitehall to devolve more powers to the south western peninsular as part of a plan to help it cope with the impact of Brexit.
An estimated 66% of Cornwall’s exports go to the European Union (EU), earning the county £1.2bn. This is above the 48% national average.
In order to prepare the county for potentially losing direct access to EU markets, the Cornwall and Isles of Scilly (IoS) Leadership Board has proposed a ‘post-Brexit plan for the region’.
Called New Frontiers, the plan calls for more devolution and outlines changes for the region’s economy that could bring in an additional £2bn and create 20,000 new jobs by 2030.
This would involve making Cornwall the first ‘net extractor’ of marine plastics and growing the region’s capability in global industries like renewable energy, and creative and digital technologies.
‘Since we became the first, and only non-metropolitan area empowered with devolution almost three years ago, Cornwall has delivered strongly on our original devolution deal,’ said Adam Paynter, chair of Leadership Board for Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly, and leader of Cornwall Council.
‘Now our Leadership Board is asking government to consider a second, more ambitious proposal.
‘New Frontiers is an opportunity for the Government to build an economy that works for everyone not just our major cities, and we hope that they see the benefit of this plan for the entire country, as well as for Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly.’
‘There will be some who argue that when the country is at a major crossroads negotiating its future relationship with Europe that this is not the time for distractions such as this,’ he continued.
‘However, as a region that has qualified for EU funding for approximately 20 years, the moment when this country is exploring new trading opportunities and considering how new legislation will be developed is precisely the time to discuss it.’