9 October 2008

The government has said it will not be undertaking a review of the constitutional status of Cornwall and will not be changing the present status of the county. The justice minister, Michael Wills, said that “Cornwall is an administrative county of England, electing MPs to the UK Parliament, and is subject to UK legislation. It has always been an integral part of the Union. The Government have no plans to alter the constitutional status of Cornwall.”

Read the details in Hansard 6 October 2008 column 154W.

Last year the government responded similarly (Hansard 6 March 2007 column 1892W and 29 March 2007 column 1673W) as I noted in this Cornwall today post.

There was a petition earlier this year on the Downing Street website urging a “thorough investigation into the distinctive constitutional status of Cornwall.” It had attracted seventy one signatures, a derisory number, at its closure on 30 July 2008.

To argue, as nationalism does, that Cornwall is really de iure a separate country from England and illegally incorporated in England, which is ultimately behind the issue of constitutional status, is unconvincing in 2008; to investigate the status is to take the nationalist argument seriously. The world is not flat and there is no good reason to spend public funds to investigate whether it is. Time moves on and Cornish nationalism will not succeed by beating an antique drum and wallowing in medieval niceties.