Conservative MP for North Cornwall, Scott Mann, has been forced to react to the angry furore raised by his reported intention to meet ministers, together with his fellow Cornish MPs, to discuss the future of the Framework Convention for the Protection of National Minorities. His original answer raised the suspicion that Cornwall’s Tory MPs were planning to use the cover of Brexit to urge their Government to pull out of the Convention.
Here’s the original reply, together with the actual question it was attached to in the copy I received.
Q: What are you doing to uphold the Protected Minority Status that is being ignored (unsustainable unaffordable and unneeded building, of 55000 homes most of us can’t afford).
A: It is early days in the process of leaving the EU, but the continuation of national minority status will no doubt be discussed between Cornwall’s MPs and the Government to see if it will remain in place. The Status is not related to housing or development policy
Now, Scott Mann claims he misunderstood the question. Here’s his clarification.
There was some confusion and I thought your original question on Facebook suggested that Brexit was going to affect the minority status.
As the Framework is overseen by the Council of Europe – which is not an EU institution – I do not believe that Brexit will affect it. For complete peace of mind, I have written to the Secretary of State for Brexit, asking that he confirm this. Like you, I want the Status to remain in place.
While it is welcome news that Scott Mann wants the national minority status of the Cornish to remain in place, some questions remain.
- Why wasn’t Scott Mann aware a week ago that the Framework Convention was a Council of Europe initiative?
- Why, if it has nothing to do with the EU and Brexit, does he still need to write to the Brexit minister asking for confirmation? Why put the suggestion of possible withdrawal into their heads?
- Why are government institutions, at both central and local state level, consistently ignoring the implications of the Framework Convention, for example in the proposed devonwall constituency or in the plans for an increase in housebuilding and in-migration?
The price of liberty is eternal vigilance.