The decision was taken to leave the European Union on 23 June 2016, with 56.5% of voters in Cornwall voting to leave. This has and will impact upon a number of industries and policy areas across Cornwall and Isles of Scilly. That's why ‘Brexit Ready Cornwall’ is a key component of the Council’s ‘Democratic Cornwall’ priority.
On this page you will find information on what the Council has been doing to prepare for Brexit. You will also find what steps you can make over the next few months ahead of exit day.
As exit day approaches, we recommend that you also undertake suitable steps to prepare.
If you are a European Union citizen, you and your family will be able to apply to get either settled or pre-settled status. This will mean you can continue living in the UK after December 2020. The deadline for applications is June 2021. You are encouraged to find out more and sign up for updates on the scheme at gov.uk.
Employers might also make use of the Settlement Scheme employers toolkit. Voluntary and Community Sector organisations can also now apply for grant funding to support vulnerable individuals to apply for the scheme.
Cornwall Council has been engaged in a large range of activity to prepare us for Brexit ever since the referendum result was announced. With the recent release of the Withdrawal Agreement, outline declaration on the future relationship, and of Government's guidance notices on how to prepare for no deal, we continue to re-assess and make plans ahead of exit day on March 2019. We will continue updating these pages with more details on our activity, but some key highlights are detailed in the sections below.
You can view a timeline of our major preparatory activity below:
56.5% in Cornwall vote to leave
Cornwall Brexit Summit
CIOS LEP study on the impact of Brexit on businesses in Cornwall
Inaugural meeting of the Futures Group
November and December 2016
Futures Group roundtables with stakeholders
Publication of ‘Catalyst for Change’ report
Hosted LGA Brexit session for the South West
Second Cornwall Brexit Summit
Visit by Commons Exiting the EU Select Committee to take oral evidence
Chief Executive joins CIPFA’s Brexit Advisory Commission
Publication of research on CIOS EEA workforce
Roundtable discussion with Secretary of State Sajid Javid and Brexit minister Steve Baker
First meeting of the Intermediate Body Network
Oral evidence to Parliamentary Brexit & Local Government inquiry
Publication of New Frontiers
Visit by Secretary of State for MHCLG James Brokenshire
Initial Council service-level review of implications
Publication of CIOS trade profile analysis
Appointment of Chief Executive to MHCLGs Brexit Advisory Board
Addition of 2 new Brexit risks to Corporate Risk Register
On July 15 2016, shortly after the referendum result was announced, Cornwall Council and the Rt Revd Tim Thornton, Bishop of Truro, hosted a Brexit Summit. This invited leaders across the public, private and voluntary sectors of Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly to come together to discuss the impacts and opportunities of the decison.
A group was formed following this summit called the ‘Futures Group’. This group was tasked with developing a proposition for a new domestically-funded economic investment programme for Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly. It was also tasked with reinforcing the clear messages coming out of the Summit on promoting community cohesion and underlining that Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly is open for business.
The Futures Group also organised a programme of roundtable discussions in November and December 2016. These were to gauge the views of businesses and policy practitioners on the implications, risks and opportunities of Brexit for key sectors in Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly.
The evidence report on the findings of the roundtable discussions was published. You can read this as ‘A Catalyst for Change: Implications, Risks and Opportunities of Brexit for Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly’.
A second Brexit Summit took place on 2 February 2017. This was hosted by Cornwall Council and the Rt Revd Chris Goldsmith, Bishop of St Germans. This Summit received a progress report from the Futures Group on its work since July. It also discussed the next steps in terms of preparing Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly for Brexit.
As the UK prepares to leave the European Union, with the rest of the Cornwall and Isles of Scilly Leadership Board, we have created New Frontiers, our post-Brexit plan. New Frontiers is currently being reviewed by government to help accelerate our regional development economically, environmentally and socially. It will support a local economy that works for everyone, and will help build global industries, grow skills and wages and protect our heritage and environment.
New Frontiers is a series of requests of Government, structured around three sections:
Post-Brexit frameworks designed to support all sectors of our economy, our environment and our society, and to enable us to flourish beyond Brexit:
- Economic Growth to 2030
- Agri-food and fisheries
- Employment and Skills
- Migration and inclusive workforce growth
- Creative industries and digital technologies
- Clean growth and environmental management
- Relocation of public bodies
Devolved powers and funding which will build on and subsequently add to our existing Deal:
- Housing and planning
- Integrated public transport
- Fiscal freedoms
- Stewardship of natural capital
- Health & social care
- Cornish culture & heritage
- Blue light collaboration
Each section contains a series of propositions which articulate a strong local ‘offer’. This is alongside our ‘ask’ of national government, to unlock clearly defined ‘benefits'. We are now engaged in dialogue with Government to discuss these proposals further.
We are standing up for Cornwall by continuously engaging with Government. We are doing this through our MPs, ministers, and civil servants. This has included hosting a roundtable discussion on the implications of Brexit for the South West with the Department of Communities and Local Government, and a discussion with the Rt Hon Sajid Javid MP and Steve Baker MP.
We also welcomed the House of Commons Exiting the EU Committee to Cornwall. The Committee Chairman Hilary Benn MP and MPs John Whittingdale and Alistair Burt were hearing evidence about the implications for Cornwall to inform their inquiry.
More recently, we've also hosted visits from several ministers. These included the Secretary of State James Brokenshire MP, the Secretary of State Chris Grayling MP, and the Chief Secretary to the Treasury Liz Truss.
We’ve also used our connections through the CIPFA Brexit Advisory Commission, and lead the formation of an Intermediate Body network. This is to strengthen our voice in partnership to influence the shape of replacements for European funding.
Our leadership on local authority Brexit preparations has recently been acknowledged through the appointment of the Council's Chief Executive to the Government's Local Government Brexit Advisory panel.
Cornwall Council and the Cornwall & Isles of Scilly LEP commissioned research on the economic and social impacts of European Economic Area (EEA) workers in Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly. You can read the final report which was completed in October 2017.
We have also recently conducted an anlysis of Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly's trade profile. This was to establish a better understand of our trade patterns to help us prepare for a post-Brexit trading regime. You can read a summary or the full report.
We have continued to submit responses to various consultations, including oral evidence to the Commons Select Committee for Exiting the EU. Written responses can be found on our Government Consultations page. These provide an evidence-base from which to understand our current position and enable informed influence of future Government policy related to Brexit on issues including:
- Brexit's impact on local government
- Brexit and devolution
- Post-Brexit migration policy
- Post-Brexit funding
- Post-Brexit agricultural and environmental policy
- Post-Brexit fisheries policy
Cornwall's Brussels Office also provides a valuable vantage point from Brussels. This is supported by the Council, the Local Enterprise Partnership, and Combined Universities in Cornwall. Located at the heart of EU decision making, it represents the interests of Cornwall in Brussels through policy influence, intelligence and profile.
Cornwall Council is working closely with partners to help ensure that we are Brexit ready from exit day. This includes discussions through the Leadership Board and our strategic partnerships. We are also working closely with partners in the South West, including the Devon, Cornwall and Isles of Scilly Local Resilience Forum to ‘Brexit-proof’ well-established resilience measures for a range of possible outcomes, and with the Devon, Somerset, Plymouth and Torbay Brexit group. We are also continuing to assess and prepare for the potential impact on Cornwall Council service-level business continuity and to support residents. As we get more information about whether we will secure a deal, extend the transition period or enter into a no-deal scenario, we will continue to adapt our service and planning processes, and update this page in due course.
As exit day approaches, we recommend that you also undertake suitable steps to prepare.
- If you are a European Union citizen, you and your family will be able to apply to get either settled or pre-settled status. This will mean you can continue living in the UK after December 2020. The deadline for applications is June 2021. You are encouraged to find out more and sign up for updates on the scheme:
EU Settlement Scheme
- Businesses are also encouraged to make use of the business guidance from Cornwall Chamber of Commerce
Cornwall Chamber of Commerce Brexit business guidance
- Businesses are also encouraged to make use of the business guidance from the Federation of Small Businesses
Federation of Small Businesses Brexit toolkit
- Government has also released a series of no deal guidance notices to offer advice on how to prepare should the UK and EU not reach a deal.
No deal guidance notices
- Government has also released a no deal business guidance 'partnership pack'.
No deal business guidance
If you’re a European Union (EU) citizen, you and your family will be able to apply to get either settled or pre-settled status. This will mean you can continue living in the UK after 31 December 2020.
You will not need to apply if:
- you’re an Irish citizen
- you have indefinite leave to remain in the UK
- you have indefinite leave to enter the UK
Your family members from outside the UK and Ireland will still need to apply even if you do not need to.
Rights for citizens of Norway, Iceland, Liechtenstein and Switzerland are still being negotiated.
The EU Settlement Scheme will open fully by 30 March 2019.
The deadline for applying will be 30 June 2021. You may be able to apply after this date if you’re joining a family member with settled or pre-settled status in the UK.
Sign up for email updates to find out when the scheme opens.
Voluntary and Community Sector (VCS) organisation can now apply for Government's VCS grant funding to assist vulnerable EU citizens needing additional support to obtain their settled status. Applications for this grant funding close on 1 February 2019.