Cornwall reflects on challenges & opportunities of Brexit

By Katie Cavell, Cornwall Brussels Representative

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A Catalyst for Change is Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly’s reflection on the challenges and opportunities of Brexit for the county. 

It comes out of a series of Brexit roundtables conducted during November and December 2016 and coordinated by the Cornwall and Isles of Scilly (CIoS) Futures Group.  The roundtables gathered the views of local businesses and policy practitioners on the potential impact of Brexit for a number of CIoS’ key sectors.

The resulting document A Catalyst for Change: Implications, Risks and Opportunities of Brexit for Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly recognises that while there are risks in all sectors, there may be opportunities as well that must not be missed.

A common thread throughout the discussions was the future of economic funding criteria (based on value for money or outputs, rather than economic need) that could have a detrimental impact on the economy of CIoS, which will struggle to compete with urban areas.

There were also concerns regarding environmental regulations, the free movement of labour which would impact on a number of sectors, and the future trade agreement between the UK and the EU.

One of the main opportunities was the potential to repatriate some EU regulations to the local government level, and to explore potential reforms with the UK Government that may support the future economy of CIoS.

‘. . .many participants saw Brexit not as a cause of change, but as a catalyst – a catalyst that gives us fresh impetus to deliver changes that we had already been proposing in order to fulfil our long term ambitions to create a more sustainable and prosperous CIoS with strong and resilient communities.’ Kate Kennally, Chair of the CIoS Futures Group