'Return rural powers to UK'
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 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.
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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 funding a Europe-wide pot and being short-changed when cash is sent back to boost jobs.
A think-tank last year said Devon would get £36 million extra, over the seven years, than at present, and Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly £207 million more.
Ex-farmer Neil Parish, Conservative MP for Tiverton and Honiton, said the Common Agriculture Policy was "far too much one size".
Sarah Wollaston, Tory MP for Totnes, dismissed Liberal Democrat Nick Clegg's claims that talk of re-negotiation would have a "chilling effect" on British jobs as "absolutely barmy".
Against claims he is losing control of his party, the Prime Minister is expected to offer a referendum on re-negotiation after the 2015 election.