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Cornish People Now A National Minority

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2:39pm 24th April 2014
(Updated 2:39pm 24th April 2014)

Cornish people are now officially a national minority.

The government is giving us the special status - which means we will get the same protection as people from Scotland, Wales and Ireland.

Officials will have to take us into account when drawing up policies - but it will not mean any more money or the chance to take more of our own decisions.

Ministers say it is because of our "proud history, unique culture, and distinctive language."

It is being billed as further strengthening Cornwall's unique brand - but it is not yet clear what the implications of today's announcement will be.

Speaking on a visit to Bodmin, Chief Secretary to the Treasury, Danny Alexander said: "Cornish people have a proud history and a distinct identity. I am delighted that we have been able to officially recognise this and afford the Cornish people the same status as other minorities in the UK."

Communities Minister Stephen Williams said:  "This is a great day for the people of Cornwall who have long campaigned for the distinctiveness and identity of the Cornish people to be recognised officially.

"The Cornish and Welsh are the oldest peoples on this island and as a proud Welshman I look forward to seeing Saint Piran's Flag flying with extra Celtic pride on March 5 next year."

Leader of Cornwall Council John Pollard welcomed the news but warned, "National minority status will not initially bring any additional funding or powers to the Council or to Cornwall. We will need to work with partners to make this clear to people in Cornwall.

"However, there are obviously significant benefits for Cornwall in being included within the Framework Convention which is worth celebrating and I pay tribute to all those who have worked tirelessly over many years to achieve this status."

Speaking on a visit to Newquay, Chief Secretary to the Treasury, Danny Alexander, said it will not mean more investment: "I think this is something which people in Cornwall have campaigned for for a very long and rightly so. As a fellow Celt from another part of the United Kingdom, I really believe that we should be recognising the distinctive cultures we have within the UK and I hope that recognition is something that people in Cornwall will be quietly satisfied by.

"This isn't about funding, it's not about new projects, it's about a recognition that a lot of people in Cornwall, MPs like Dan Rogerson and Stephen Gilbert and many others, have campaigned for for a long time and I think it's appropriate that we respond positively to that campaign."

2:39pm 24th April 2014

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