Devolution for Cornwall call as G7 uses it as a ‘picturesque backdrop’
The UK Government should use the G7 to recognise that Cornwall deserves its own devolved powers, rather than simply using the historical Celtic nation as a “pretty backdrop”.
That has been the call of the national party Mebyon Kernow as world leaders from President Joe Biden to German Chancellor Angela Markel fly in for talks.
They challenged the UK Government to use the occasion “to promise a comprehensive devolution deal for Cornwall, which builds on Cornwall’s place as one of the five nations of the United Kingdom”.
““The Government claims that ‘the whole of Cornwall will reap the benefits of hosting the G7,’ many politicians are talking about ‘putting Cornwall on the map’ while there is much speculation what legacy there will be from the event,” they told Cornish Stuff.
“In terms of legacy, we want to see positive and concerned actions to tackle the poverty and inequality that so many Cornish residents face.”
Mebyon Kernow added that the international summit would be a fitting moment for the UK Government to make the historic pledge.
“Government ministers need to view Cornwall as more than just a picturesque backdrop to G7,” they said.
“And what better legacy could there be than parity with the other Celtic parts of the UK, such as Scotland and Wales, in terms of influence and investment, and a comprehensive devolution deal, which would deliver a Cornish Assembly or Parliament?
“Such a legacy that will ensure that we have the political powers to build a political, economic, environmental and cultural future that everyone in Cornwall can be proud off.”
The G7 is being held this year from 11-13 June in the seaside resort of Carbis Bay, which prides itself on a “privately owned 25-acre Blue Flag beach.”
The UK Government said that the choice of coastal setting is to emphasise the “beautiful, historic and innovative region” to the world.
The Government claims that Cornwall will “reap the benefits of hosting the G7” and will “provide the best of Cornish hospitality for leaders delegates and the world’s media,” adding that the summit will help by “boosting local businesses”.
Visit Cornwall estimates the total economic impact to be £50 million for the county, including an increase in future tourism.
There have been warnings however that more tourism could lead to further price rises in a housing market that is already “out of control”.
Cornish Conservative Councillor Andrew Mitchell, who was in charge of housing before May’s election, warned that a number of people found themselves unable to afford rent.
“It is like somebody has had a bonfire going for a while and has now thrown three gallons of petrol on it and it is now an inferno,” he told Cornwall Live.
“We need to start looking at whether what is happening now is just a bit of overheating and will disappear as we come out of lockdown or if we need to accept that this is the new normal in Cornwall.”