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'Return rural powers to UK'

By Western Morning News  |  Posted: January 17, 2013

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Britain should claw back power from Brussels over farming, fishing and regional regeneration, a group of Conservative MPs are demanding ahead of David Cameron's major speech on Europe tomorrow.

The Fresh Start Project, backed by Tory MPs from across Devon and Cornwall, warns that the European Union "status quo is no longer an option".

Its Manifesto for Change demands five significant revisions to EU treaties, as well as changes to policies that cause deep frustration across the Westcountry.

There is the potential to loosen ties with Brussels over farming and fisheries policies, which have long been the bane of key Westcountry industries, the document states. It also urges that Britain pays for its own regional development policy, rather than paying into a Europe-wide pot and being short-changed when cash is sent back to boost jobs.

A think-tank last year said Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly would get £207 million more, over seven years, than at present, and Devon £36 million extra.

The Fresh Start Project is fronted by Mr Cameron's former aide George Eustice, the MP for Camborne and Redruth.

He said: "It is now essential that the EU is reformed. When it comes to regional policy and structural funds, Cornwall could receive more financial support if the dead weight costs of EU administration were removed and our farming and fishing industries would benefit from policies which are tailored to our own needs."

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  • DogsDanglies  |  January 17 2013, 11:05AM

    The whole point of the EU is that powers it gets do NOT get given back. As usual in this debate the politicians are attempting to 'pull the wool' over voters eyes for their own/the EU's gain. Or the alternative view, they really believe what they say and thus are totally incompetent! I wonder .... Even if we started talks on 'repatriating' powers, the rest of the EU can just ignore any requests. The only way to get back to being a sovereign country again is to invoke Article 50 of the Lisbon Treaty. That is, we announce our intention to leave the EU which then COMPELS the EU to discuss our future relationship. But I reckon hell will freeze over before any of the muppets on the political gravy train will do this.

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