PPUK has no position either way on the issue of devolution or independence in Cornwall although AFAIK we support the principle of self-determination for all peoples.
In my personal opinion, however, I can't say that I'm convinced by the need for independence.
1. Poverty. Cornwall is by no means the only area of the UK that has a high level of poverty. Areas such as the North East of England, for example, are also very hard-hit. I think that trying to shift the economic balance away from London and the South East to the rest of the country - Cornwall included - would be a better solution. Not to mention that there are non-trivial overheads for devolved areas.
2. Management. Cornwall is definitely not unique in being a long way from Westminster. The current government is pushing a localism agenda which will help put more power into the hands of the local authorities. The Greater Manchester Combined Authority, for example, is one of the first cities to be given a huge chunk of its tax revenue back to spend in the area.I'm quite interested to see how this will work out, as an adopted Mancunian, and think that if the local governance is done right it could be a great thing. Perhaps a similar group of Cornish local authorities could negotiate a similar arrangement with the central government.
3. Identity. I'm not convinced that independence is necessary to retain a cultural identity. I don't think that a cultural identity can really be imposed on a population by a government to any overwhelming degree. If the locals wish to uphold their culture then they can. I have mixed feelings about the idea of official languages, e.g. in Wales, under the current devolution system. Then again, I am not Cornish (or Welsh), I'm a Berkshire lad who's adopted Manchester as his home.
Overall, I don't think that devolution or independence would be worth it, however I am a supporter of the right to self-determination so if the people of Cornwall were to vote for devolution or independence then who am I to say otherwise? Especially if there are detailed and reasoned arguments in favour.
- Deputy Campaigns Officer, Member of the Board of Governors and former RAO for North-West EnglandTweet E-Mail