Friday, 18 September 2015

18th September 2014 ... one year on: It is time for democratic devolution to Cornwall

Today marks the first anniversary of the Scottish independence referendum and the media is – quite rightly – full of comment about all aspects of the devolution debate and the possibility of a future referendum.

Twelve months ago, the people of Scotland did not vote for independence, but the NO vote was underpinned by promises of a large amount of additional powers for Holyrood from the leaders of the three largest Westminster parties.

David Cameron claimed that one consequence of the vote would also be a “balanced settlement” for all of the nations of the United Kingdom. But like so many Westminster politicians, he still cannot seem to get past speaking about the “four nations” of the United Kingdom. He still seems to have a massive blind spot for that often unmentioned nation of Cornwall – where he tends to holiday!

His hyperbole that the recent top-down “Cornwall devolution deal” was historic is a total nonsense. The reality is that the undemocratic “deal” - see previous blogs in July - completely pales in comparison to the devolution enjoyed in Scotland and Wales.

Indeed, central government has also stated that the Cornwall “deal” was just the “first of many devolution deals for counties.” So much a balanced settlement for the nations of the UK.

At this time, I would wish to repeat my call for a mature, respectful and wide-ranging debate about the future of the whole of the United Kingdom, all its constituent parts and how they are governed – with Cornwall at the heart of that debate.

The people of Cornwall must speak up to demand a new democratic settlement, which takes significant political and economic powers from Westminster and brings them home to Cornwall.

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