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Cornish farmer's 'money fears' as Brexit talks begin

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4:29pm 19th June 2017
(Updated 4:29pm 19th June 2017)

Cornish farmers are warning the industry faces hard times as Brexit talks begin.

Officials will meet in Brussels on Monday, as they start to try to thrash out a deal.

Pirate FM spoke to farmers at the Royal Cornwall Show about their biggest concerns.

Will Palmer owns a farm on the Roseland Peninsula and said: "The Brexit and general election were obviously the two big things, purely because of uncertainty.

"The biggest things for us is the value of the pound, purely due to what we need to buy in and what we need to expot and what they're worth on the day.

"It's very hard. Money is tight and there isn't a profit to be made for lots of people.

"Land isn't becoming available for young people to get into it with countless farms being sold off; it isn't easy at all".

More than 320 thousand people in Cornwall cast their ballots last June, with over 182 thousand voting to leave the EU.

You can watch the moment the result was announced...

 

Since then, officials from industries like fishing, farming and tourism have been drawing up a blueprint for what the Duchy will need.

It laid out risks and opportunities when we leave the EU - everything from quotas and trade to VAT and migrant workers.

Pirate FM asked Council leader John Pollard about what happens when we lose the funding from Europe.

He said: "We were in a cycle of 500 million euros and that seems to be guaranteed now via the government. As long as we can get the projects through and get most of them committed before we actually leave the EU, then I think the bulk of that money will still acrue to Cornwall.

"I think that investment will happen because that investment was there to improve the economy, to improve wage levels and to make sure the residents of Cornwall were not the poorest residents and the poorest region in the UK".

Key Risks and Opportunities:

Tourism, Culture and Heritage
Opportunity: Building on international links and reputation, welcoming tourists from beyond Europe, capitalising on current exchange rates that make the UK a favourable holiday destination
Risk: Workforce uncertainties, as the hospitality sector relies on a lot of seasonal workers from EU countries

Fisheries
Opportunity: Ability for local fishermen to more directly influence the future of fishing post Brexit
Risk: Uncertainty over future fisheries and conservation regime post EU

Agriculture, Food and Environment
Opportunities: Ability to shape a new and more market-focused UK agriculture policy focused on farming, environment and landscape outcomes; better opportunities to market Cornwall produce
Risk: Concerns over negative effects caused by changes in the Common Agriculture Policy payment regime; workforce uncertainties

Innovation, Research and Higher Education
Opportunity: Opportunity to lobby for recruitment of students and academics from all over world
Risk: EU academic and research networks and funding within the EU

The Brexit Secretary David Davis will lead a British team to Brussels on Monday morning, to kickstart the historic negotiations.

Mr Davis and his team will hold meetings with their opposite numbers at the European Commission, which is leading negotiations on behalf of the European Union member states.

Speaking ahead of the talks, Mr Davis said: "Today marks the start of negotiations that will shape the future of the European Union and the United Kingdom, and the lives of our citizens.

"We want both sides to emerge strong and prosperous, capable of projecting our shared European values, leading in the world, and demonstrating our resolve to protect the security of our citizens.

"I want to reiterate at the outset of these talks that the UK will remain a committed partner and ally of our friends across the Continent. And while there is a long road ahead, our destination is clear - a deep and special partnership between the UK and the EU. A deal like no other in history".

This first meeting will last just a day with a joint news conference expected by both Mr Davis and his opposite number Michel Barnier at the end of the day.

4:29pm 19th June 2017

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