A breakfast summit aimed at bringing together those on both sides of the EU referendum debate and agree a clear way forward for Cornwall has been held at Truro College.

Led by Cornwall Council’s Leader John Pollard and the Bishop of Truro, the Rt Revd Tim Thornton, and attended by around 40 leaders of key organisations from across Cornwall, the aim of the summit was to identify the main economic and social issues facing Cornwall post Brexit and to draw up a list of key actions to help address them and create a positive future.

Opening the summit John Pollard said it was vital for everyone in Cornwall to come together and speak with one clear voice. “We are One community, Council, One Cornwall,” he said. “Following the EU referendum we need to do everything we can to unify all sections of society and work together to steer Cornwall through these unchartered waters to a sustainable and prosperous future.

Emphasising the importance of working together, Bishop Tim said it was important to give a positive message to people and communities in Cornwall.

“We know that people in Cornwall are innovative and entrepreneurial and always come up with good ideas to overcome the challenges they face,” he said. “I am confident that we will see this happening now and that people will find new and exciting ways to move Cornwall forward.”

Adding that it was vital that everyone joined together to stamp out tribalism and focus on improving the lives of local communities, not just growing the economy, he said that Cornwall needed to send out a strong message that it continued to welcome people from all over the world to live, work and visit.

The discussion was led by the Council’s Chief Executive Kate Kennally who reinforced the message of unity, and said the aim of the Council’s Strategy was to create a sustainable and prosperous Cornwall by closing the four fundamental gaps which are holding Cornwall back – economy, funding, health and inequality.

“Up to now our European funding has helped us to tackle these issues – we will now need to look at what tools we have collectively to continue to address them in the future,” she said.

“As a Council we are feeling optimistic and hopeful for Cornwall but we also have to be realistic about the fact that we have these four gaps we need to address. Most importantly we need to take our residents with us to see that Cornwall has a positive outlook and they can be confident in its future.”

The importance of all sectors working together to create a positive future for everyone in Cornwall was emphasised by all groups attending the summit who also said it was vital to reassure people from across Europe and the rest of the world that they were very welcome to come to Cornwall to visit, work and live.

A list of the key actions Cornwall needs to take to address the issues and deliver the opportunities identified during the summit will be drawn up over the next few days.

Cornwall is setting up a new “Brexit Group” with representatives of key public, private, community and voluntary organisations to tackle the economic and social challenges created by the results of the EU Referendum and work together to secure the best possible future for the Duchy and it is proposed that the summit will reconvene at a later date.

Closing the summit, the Bishop of St Germans, The Rt Revd Chris Goldsmith said: “It is clear that no one alone can do what needs to be done. This is going to require the kind of partnership we see here today. We also need to engage with and listen to local communities and make sure that their voice is heard in this debate.”