The Liberal Democrat candidate for North Cornwall has today challenged the local Conservative candidate to rule out a no-deal Brexit in December 2020. The challenge, just a few days before polling day, follows Boris Johnson’s refusal to rule out a no-deal exit from the EU.
Under the Conservative Party’s plan, the UK will have until December 2020 to deliver the second phase of negotiating a Free Trade Agreement with the EU. However, the plans also say Boris Johnson will not seek any extension despite overwhelming evidence showing that time-frame is near impossible.
This means that the Tories are signing up to crash the UK out of the EU without a deal, the Liberal Democrats claim.
This is why Danny Chambers has today written to Scott Mann, the Conservative candidate for North Cornwall, to ask them to rule out a no-deal Brexit in December 2020 which would cause severe economic damage and put jobs at risk in Cornwall.
Commenting on the letter, Danny Chambers, Liberal Democrat candidate for North Cornwall, said: “It is clear that the Conservatives are now effectively the party of Nigel Farage and Donald Trump. They are content to see the UK crash out of the EU without a deal.
“Boris Johnson’s Brexit plan is already a disaster for people in Cornwall, but he has now made things even worse by putting the UK on a collision course with a no-deal Brexit in December 2020.
“The National Farmers’ Union has described a no-deal Brexit as ‘catastrophic’ for British farming.
“The Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons has called on the government to reject a no-deal Brexit because it would not be possible to maintain current animal welfare and public health standards.
“The British Medical Association has warned that a no deal Brexit could have could have ‘potentially catastrophic consequences for patients, the health workforce, services and the nation’s health’.”
“People in North Cornwall have a right to know whether Scott Mann supports the reckless and dangerous plan Boris Johnson is proposing. That is why I have written to Scott to urge him to rule out supporting any deal that risks a no deal cliff edge in December 2020.
Scott Mann has yet to attend a public hustings in North Cornwall, even avoiding the one in his hometown of Wadebridge. With one final hustings in Bude on Wednesday, Danny Chambers says:
“During a general election campaign MPs should have the decency to publicly defend their voting record, meet with their constituents, answer their questions and debate the other candidates. Since this election was called, the Conservative candidate hasn’t attended a single public meetings, including in his hometown of Wadebridge.
“There is one more public meeting remaining at 7pm on the 4th December in Bude at the Falcon Hotel. I challenge you, Scott Mann, to be there and debate me and then the public can decide who’s going to be the best person to represent North Cornwall in Westminster.”
Danny Chambers and Joy Bassett have both attended all of the hustings they have been invited to. Scott Mann has been invited to and declined to attend the following:
- Hustings for Callywith College 6thform students on Wednesday 20 November
- Candidate Meet & Greet at Vittorio’s in Wadebridge
- NFU hustings on Tuesday 26 November at Trethorne
- Hustings for Launceston College students on Thursday 28 November
- Public hustings on Thursday 28 November at Wadebridge Town Hall
The Liberal Democrats have announced that they will reverse spend £10 billion a year more on schools and hire 20,000 more teachers by the end of the next Parliament.
Figures from the National Education Union show that next year (2020/21), schools in North Cornwall will have seen their budgets cut by £2,941,790 in real terms since 2015, once increasing pupil numbers are taken into account. This is equivalent to a cut of £242 per pupil. Across the constituency, 76% of schools have seen their spending power cut since 2015.
Danny Chambers says: ““Young people across North Cornwall deserve fairer funding for our schools and colleges so they can reach their full potential and get the best start in life.
“But instead, the Conservatives have cut school budgets to the bone. Many schools now rely on handouts from parents, generous teachers are putting their hands in their own pockets to pay for supplies or schools are cuttings staff numbers to make ends meet.
“I’ve been very fortunate to have wonderful career opportunities that stemmed from my state school education and I want all children to learn in world-class schools and colleges.
“A vote for me is a vote for someone who will fight to reverse school cuts so we can build a brighter future for children in North Cornwall”.
A Liberal Democrat government would reverse these cuts to frontline school budgets with an emergency cash injection of £4.6 billion next year. By 2024/25, the party will spend more than £10 billion extra on schools compared to this year, enough to boost teaching numbers by 20,000 over five years. The funding will also be used to support children with special educational needs and invest in extra training for teachers.
The Liberal Democrats have announced they would more than double spending on youth services in Cornwall to over £13 million, to provide young people with the opportunities they deserve and to reduce anti-social behaviour.
Danny Chambers, commented: “Since 2015 we have seen significant cuts to council spending on youth services. Young people in rural areas can often feel cut off which can lead to mental health issues as well as anti-social behaviour.
“We need to support young people within our communities and, to do that, it is important we have well-funded youth services. A Liberal Democrat government would build a brighter future by increasing spending by over £7 million a year in Cornwall, meaning better opportunities for our younger generations.”
Current funding allocated for youth services in Cornwall amounted to £6,049,000 in 2017-18. Under a Liberal Democrat government, this would increase by £7,271,691 to a total of £13,320,691.
This would form part of a total ring-fenced fund of £500 million for Local Authorities across England to spend on youth services.