Monday, 22 January 2018

Conservative MPs back Cornish tickbox campaign

I am pleased that Cornwall’s Conservative MPs are supporting Cornwall Council’s campaign for a Cornish tickbox on the 2021 census.

Steve Double MP and Scott Mann MP have both submitted written questions on this matter.

This follows a significant amount of work being done by the unitary authority, and my pre-Christmas visit to London for the Office of National Statistics’ Population and Public Policy Forum. I produced a detailed follow-up report from this for a meeting, which took place about ten days ago, between Cornish MPs and the leadership of Cornwall Council. I am grateful that the report was well-received and the importance of Cornwall Council’s campaign was both acknowledged and supported.

For an update on the written questions, see:

The full written response to Steve Double's came from the UK Statistics Authority, via the Minister. It was as follows:

“As National Statistician and Chief Executive of the UK Statistics Authority, I am replying to your Parliamentary Question asking whether an assessment has been made of the potential merits of adding a tick-box for Cornish nationality in the 2021 Census (122621). We intend to recommend the inclusion of a question on national identity in the 2021 Census, along with questions for country of birth and passports held.

“National identity is a self-determined assessment of an individual's own identity with respect to the country or countries with which they feel an affiliation. This assessment of identity is not dependent on legal nationality or ethnic group.

“The national identity question included six tick box responses - one for each of the four parts of the UK (English, Welsh, Scottish, Northern Irish), one for British, and one for “Other”. Where a person ticked “Other” they were asked to write in the name of the country. The respondent is free to fill this in as they identify themselves.

“The Office for National Statistics has had discussions with representatives from Cornwall in 2017 (including a meeting with Cornwall Council in August 2017) and is currently considering extra evidence, supplied by Cornwall Council, to support a Cornish tick-box in the ethnicity question. This evidence will supplement the information gathered in the 2021 Census topic consultation and from the recent Population and Public Policy Forum hosted by ONS, and help us finalise our overall assessment. This will in turn inform the 2021 Census White Paper, planned for later in 2018.”


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