According to the Boundary Commission’s Sam Hartley, it is now “inevitable” that, when the announcement about reducing the number of seats in the Commons to 600 is made, one of these new constituencies at least will be a cross Tamar one, potentially taking in Bude, Launceston and Bideford.
For those outside of Cornwall with little knowledge about the ramifications of this, the situation is likely to be seen as merely a minor cross county squabble. But this is reckoning without the 2014 announcement which included Cornwall under the Framework Convention for the Protection of National Minorities. Developing a cross Tamar parliamentary constituency would contravene the following constituent parts of the Framework Convention:
ARTICLE 3 – PARAGRAPH 2: “Persons belonging to National Minorities may exercise the rights and enjoy the freedoms flowing from the principles enshrined in the present Framework Convention individually as well as in community with others.”
ARTICLE 5 – PARAGRAPH 2: “Parties shall refrain from policies or practices aimed at assimilation of persons belonging to National Minorities against their will and shall protect these persons from any action aimed at such assimilation.”
At last weekend’s Gorsedh Kernow annual bardic ceremony at St. Keverne, Grand Bard Merv Davey stated: “It was from this parish some 500 years ago that Michael Joseph the Smith led the Cornish host to London in protest at the destruction of our way of life. Throughout the centuries the people of Cornwall have asserted their distinct identity and heritage. The spirit of Michael Joseph and St Keverne are seen in our success with the recognition of the Cornish Language, our National Minority Status and the Devolution Deal for Cornwall Council, but the time has come now to campaign to keep our land whole. Any recommendation that parts of Cornwall are placed within Devon constituencies would be a disaster for Cornish democracy, heritage, culture and our national identity.”
Anyone that has Cornwall close to their hearts should heed the words of Tony Leamon, steering group member of Kernow Matters To Us and to write to their MP and elected representatives via the following weblink: https://www.writetothem.com/
Whether you live in Cornwall, the Home Counties or other parts of the UK – it is vital to contact your local MP by Tony’s link and ensure they know the special protection that Cornwall has in order to stop this cross-Tamar constituency plan before it gets off the ground.
Tony Leamon ends with the rallying cry: “Na wrewgh tava agan ordir! Kernow bys vyken!” (Hands off our border! Cornwall for ever!) and I simply cannot better that!