Mebyon Kernow – The Party for Cornwall (MK) has challenged the Westminster political parties to make 2016 “the year of Cornish recognition.”
At the first meeting of the Party’s Executive in 2016, party members expressed concern that central government had failed to build on the recognition of the Cornish people through the Framework Convention on National Minorities in April 2014.
MK Deputy Leader Cllr Loveday Jenkin said: “It is almost two years since the British government bowed to years of pressure and recognised that the Framework Convention on National Minorities covered the Cornish.
“But they have since failed to act on this important Convention in terms of the political recognition of Cornwall, and the protection of its distinct territoriality. They have also failed to properly invest in Cornwall’s distinct culture and identity.
“Mebyon Kernow believes that 2016 must be the year that Cornish recognition – in terms of politics and governance, territoriality and culture – becomes a mainstream issue across the UK.”
The Party for Cornwall is preparing a detailed representation which will be sent to the leaders of the Westminster political parties. It will challenge them to act on MK’s concerns.
MK economy spokesman Cllr Andrew Long has added that “national minority status was a landmark ruling,” but it “must help lead to the people of Cornwall achieving greater control over their “political and economic lives through the creation of a legislative National Assembly of Cornwall.
“I repeat MK’s call for a new democratic settlement which recognises and respects Cornwall’s status as one of the historic nations of the United Kingdom.
“Cornwall merits stand-alone legislation for meaningful devolution of significant powers to a National Assembly of Cornwall, within the framework of the United Kingdom.”
Recognition of Cornwall’s territoriality
MK members remain extremely concerned about the refusal of central government to recognise Cornwall as a “distinct national community for all forms of governance, administration and service provision.” Cllr Long added: “Public services for Cornwall should be run from bodies based in and committed to Cornwall.
It is not right that civil servants in Exeter, Bristol and London have more say than democratically elected politicians in Cornwall.
“We are also angry that Cornwall’s national border is not respected by this Government, and we give notice today that we will be redoubling our efforts to challenge the legitimacy of the upcoming parliamentary boundary review which would lead to a cross-Tamar Devonwall seat.”
Recognition of Cornwall’s distinct identity and language
Mebyon Kernow is also increasingly nonplussed at central government’s seeming unwillingness to respect, recognise and invest in Cornwall’s distinct identity and language.
Cllr Loveday Jenkin added: “Cornwall has a unique national identity, grounded in its culture, language, traditions and history, as well as a distinct constitutional position.
“But while central government accepts our national minority status it appears disinterested in supporting our culture in a manner appropriate to the schedules of the Framework Convention.
“It is particularly unbelievable that they have yet to make any announcement on whether there will be any money for the promotion of the Cornish language.”
Mebyon Kernow – The Party for Cornwall