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Why Cornish independence could be no joke

More and more people in the county want recognition of Cornish identity—and political power

By Nadia Leigh-Hewitson  
A St Piran flag fluttering in the wind on the coast at Fistral in Newquay Cornwall. Credit: Alamy

A St Piran flag fluttering in the wind at Fistral in Newquay, Cornwall. Credit: Alamy

Cornish independence has been the butt of national jokes for centuries. But strange as it might sound, in 2021, independence—or at least some form of devolution—for the county seems more tangible than ever.

The movement for Cornish autonomy comes from two different directions: the political drive towards practical legislative devolution from Westminster, and the long-range target of recognition as a sovereign state. Devolution is backed by many business and political leaders across the region, and certainly by the 10 per cent of its 568,210 residents identifying as solely Cornish (and not English). Cornwall Council claims it’s committed to…

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