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Some questions to think about

I am writing my dissertation on the devolution process in Scotland, Wales and England, focusing on the achievements of these nations and the future prospects of the process not only in Scotland and Wales, but also in England and other devolved regions. I will also focus on the implications of this process for the UK as a political entity.

In order to be able to offer the most comprehensive range of points of view about the matter I am planning to interview spokepersons of political parties, professors of law and experts on devolution in Scotland, Wales and England.

One of my main objectives for my dissertation is showing the opinion of Cornish parties and pressure groups. Everybody talks about devolution in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland, but nobody takes into account Cornwall and its demands.

I am trying to get in contact with leading experts on the matter, and I would be very grateful if someone from Radio Free Cornwall could answer a few questions about the topic (their opinion on devolution, objectives, demands...). It is critical that I speak with all the political parties and pressure groups, as I want to present all the different points of view about the matter. The questions I was planning to ask are the following:

- Despite in 2000-2001 up to 50,000 people signed a petition for a national Assembly, Cornwall is still being treated just as another region of England and not as a nation at the same level as Scotland or Wales. Why?

- In your opinion which are the factors that shape Cornish identity?

- How do you think Cornwall should be governed and why? Do you think Cornwall should have an Assembly with the same powers as the Welsh National Assembly, a Parliament with the same powers as the Scottish Parliament, or should become fully independent?

- What do you think of devolution? Do you think Cornish want a bigger degree of devolution?

- Recently a new concept of ‘englishness’ has evolved, whereby England demands a national Parliament and the same powers as other devolved nations within the UK such as Wales or Scotland. How does Cornwall fit in this newly born 'englishness'? If England succeeded in its demands for an English Parliament, would you like Cornwall to be governed from this English Parliament as a first step towards further devolution?

- Why the Cornish quest for recognition as a nation within the UK doesn’t have a big coverage in the media?

- Do you think the South West Regional Assembly and the South West Regional Development Agency bring any advantage to Cornwall?

- Would Cornwall be able to exist as an independent nation? Is its economy strong enough to support a hypothetical independent country?

I have contacted the major parties and formations and so far have received positive answers from Mebyon Kernow and the Cornish Constitutional Convention. However, I am also interested in what Cornish feel, not just what political parties fight for. That is the reason why I also contacted you. Your opinion is very interesting and it will provide me with another point of view from a collective outside the politics.

I really appreciate your help and cooperation. I'm very interested on the Cornish question. We foreigners -I'm Spanish- generally don't even know about the existence of Cornish demands for further powers. We only know about Northern Ireland, Wales and Scotland...

Thank you very much once again!

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