The Referendum Fallout

The devolution genie is out of the bottle.

The nation state has been saved; the United Kingdom remains intact. That seemed to be the immediate comment on the “No” result of last week’s referendum in Scotland. However, the reality is of course much more complex, and actually in a matter of just hours comments, statements and raised expectations mean that the future of the UK as a nation state has started to look distinctly ragged around the edges. Perhaps the whole event has been another staging post in a continuing process of constitutional change; the question then is, where do we go next and what is the ultimate destination?

For a nation with a famously 'unwritten' constitution this is quite a task. Even our point of departure is unclear, hidden as it is in ancient charters, centuries of legal precedent in turn overlaid by more recent statutes and treaties tacked on here and there. In such circumstances it is challenging to know when or indeed if we are actually having a constitutional debate. W

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John Boocock 25 September 2014

Here in Scotland we have been having a pre and post referendum discussion which (funnily enough) was independent of the yes and no camps. To find out more about this - some of which is echoed here in Diana's article - check out http://www.localdemocracy.info and read the final report (you'll have to take it to bed with you!)

Fulub Hosking 25 September 2014

"particularly my own region" You know you've been misled about that don't you? Cornwall may not be a sanctioned 'region' as defined by central government but it has been campaigning for great home-rule since before the artificial English regions - North East, South West etc - were drawn up on a table in Whitehall.

It's often said that there is little or no interest within what is commonly considered England for 'regional' devolution. This is not quite true however. 50,000 people signed a petition calling for a Cornish Assembly in 2002. At the time a Cornwall Council opinion poll put support for a Cornish assembly at around 55%. The petition was collected over a couple of months by some motivated volunteers before the age of social media. This 10% of our population met with the criteria set by Prescott for the government to investigate a 'regions' desire for devolution. New Labour decided to renege on this promise and ignore Cornish calls for an assembly. Various Liberal Democrat MP's for Cornwall have defended the idea of Cornish devolution as well as campaigning for Cornish national minority status, funding of the Cornish language and democratic accountability for the Duchy of Cornwall. Perhaps the last example of this being Dan Rogerson's Government of Cornwall Bill. It should also be noted that the Green party, amongst others, also supports Cornish devolution. The last PLASC data for Cornish schools showed that 46% of children would choose Cornish to describe their identity rather than English, British or some mixture.

So please feel free to campaign for a Yorkshire assembly but don't believe the establishments bull, and particularly Labour's, on who wants devolution and by how much.

The Cornish Constitutional Convention: http://www.cornishassembly.org/

The Council of Europe's Framework Convention for the Protection of National Minorities and the Cornish: http://www.scribd.com/doc/59678181/Cornish-Minority-Report

Greetings and solidarity from Kernow (Cornwall): https://www.facebook.com/RadioFreeCornwall