Paynter meets Brexit negotiator

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Cornwall is ‘open for business’ – that’s the clear message Cornwall Council Leader Adam Paynter will be taking with him to Brussels today for a meeting with the EU’s chief Brexit negotiator Michel Barnier.

The opportunity has come from Cornwall Council’s membership of the Conference of Peripheral Maritime Regions, which will see a small delegation of leaders from regions from across Europe meeting Barnier to highlight issues that matter most to their residents.

Paynter will also use the one-day visit as an opportunity to have discussions with Eleni Marianou, secretary general of the Conference of Peripheral Maritime Regions and to meet with Andreas Lervik, councillor and leader of Östfold region in Norway. This meeting will be an opportunity to get valuable insight from a region that participates in EU programmes despite Norway not being an EU member.

Paynter is expected to raise a number of issues seen as important to the future of Cornwall in post-Brexit Britain, including:

  • Ensuring healthy trade links between Cornwall and the EU continue (unlike the UK overall, Cornwall has a trade surplus to the EU)
  • Ensuring co-operation for key industries to thrive, including tourism, the creative sector and agriculture
  • Enabling Cornish partners to continue participation in research and innovation projects with leading European universities and research institutions
  • Ensuring Cornish businesses can continue to grow and prosper through access to workforce labour, including seasonal agriculture workers
  • Enshrining the value of regional cooperation as a key building block for growth.

Paynter said: “The Council has been working hard to hold the Government to its promise that no region will be worse off as a result of Brexit. This means ensuring the Government doesn’t neglect Cornwall in its replacement UK funding programme.

“At the same time, we can’t rely on the Government and need to be putting Cornwall’s case forward to our European partners ourselves and forming relationships that will benefit Cornwall, and the wider south west region, long after the UK leaves the European Union.

“This meeting is an opportunity to flag a number of issues that are crucial for Cornwall and will be seeking support to continue strong relationships that we have built up over many years and which are critical issues for us if we are to deliver the ambitions outlined in the UK industrial strategy.”

also vital for creating high quality jobs in Cornwall and ensuring the sustainable growth and development of our region.”