British Gov't to continue to exclude Cornish from protection

Harold F. Schiffman haroldfs at
Sun Jan 14 17:13:50 UTC 2007

UK Government set to continue to exclude Cornish from FCNM

Truru, Kernow - Cornwall, Thursday, 28 December 2006 by Davyth Hicks The
UK government appears set to continue to exclude the Cornish from the
protection given to other nationalities in the UK and Europe under the
Council of Europes Framework Convention for National Minorities. According
to their draft Compliance Report the UK says that it will continue to
follow its own criteria for FCNM implementation which follows that set out
in the Race Relations Act (RRA). The Act defines what is an ethnic group
in the UK, a classification required to be included under the Framework
Convention. However, such a definition runs contrary to the spirit of the
Convention which was established to bring basic protection for historic
national minorities.

In a press release the Celtic League state that : "It implies that a
Cornish individual must bring and win a civil court case in order to be
included under the Convention, as the Welsh and the Scottish have done in
the past. However, in the Compliance Report itself, mention is made of
minority ethnic groups (e.g. Chinese), who the government indicates
receive official support as per the Convention (FCNM), but do not have RRA
case law references either. It suggests that the British Government is
unclear about its own criteria." Exclusion from the FCNM also leaves the
Cornish open to further abuses, such as the recent cases of schoolchildren
being punished for saying that they were Cornish and not English, as well
as potentially undermining EU sponsored language projects.

However, the British government have pointed out that it is a draft report
and that NGOs and individuals may recommend changes, which "will be
considered", up until January 20th. Complaints from NGOs over the proposed
Cornish exclusion will also to be sent to the Council of Europe who will
then decide what measures to take.  (Eurolang 2006)

Copies of the UKs draft report can be obtained from :
Neil.Harris at}The


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