Cornwall must be part of any new settlement on devolution
West Cornwall MP, Andrew George, has commented on today’s statement from Prime Minister David Cameron where he stated that, “it is absolutely right that a new and fair settlement for Scotland should be accompanied by a new and fair settlement that applies to all parts of our United Kingdom.”
Mr George who has consistently campaigned for more powers to a Cornish Regional Assembly and is a founder and Vice-Chair of the Cornish Constitutional Convention, has said that any new devolved powers on offer across the UK should also give encouragement to Cornwall to make a bid for its own devolution.
Mr George said, “All Parties now acknowledge the benefits and opportunities of allowing the Nations and regions of the UK to manage their public services and shape their futures whilst releasing themselves from the dead hand of micromanagement from Whitehall.
“If the Prime Minister is now suggesting further devolved powers across the UK, then Cornwall must be part of this process. After all, Cornwall is already recognised as a distinct region for economic development purposes, as a separate people and for its distinct language.
“After all, who is best placed to decide upon the best interests for Cornwall? Ministers and mandarins in Whitehall or the business leaders, workers and elected representatives of Cornwall?
“It’s quite clear that Cornwall can and should have more of a say in its future management.
“It is not about cutting ourselves off, but cutting ourselves in to the celebration of diversity in the UK and the strengthening of its devolved regional apparatus of Government.
“The independence referendum in Scotland has opened the door towards fair representation on a regional basis across the UK. Cornwall’s best interests must be served as part of this process.
“What binds us together is stronger and more important than anything which separates us. Perhaps some of us have taken the UK for granted and not appreciated its strengths and benefits.
“But I agree that we are over centralised, that too much is controlled by a metropolitan elite and that we need to a new settlement which devolves power not just to Scotland but also commences the process for regions like Cornwall.