Cornish Pasty now foreign

The Cornish are to be recognised as a national minority under the European Framework Convention for the Protection of National Minorities.

The Communities Minister, Stephen Williams, said “this is a great day for the people of Cornwall who have long campaigned for the distinctiveness and identity of the Cornish people to be recognised officially”.

The main aims of the Framework Convention are to promote equality, combat discrimination and preserve and develop the culture and identity of national minorities.  There had been 3 previous unsuccessful attempts to include the Cornish in the Framework Convention.

The government press release announcing the recognition states that it is “without prejudice as to whether the Cornish meet the definition of ‘racial group’ under the Equality Act 2010”

The Equality Act 2010 protects those with a protected characteristic: age; disability; gender reassignment; marriage and civil partnership; race; religion or belief; sex; and sexual orientation, from being subjected to certain prohibited conduct.

The protected characteristic of race includes colour; nationality; and ethnic or national origins.

The recognition makes it likely that Cornish will be recognised as a racial group, defined by reference to ethnic origins. Claimants would be able to rely on Cornishness as a protected characteristic for the purposes of an equality claim in the Employment Tribunal.

Nigel Newbery, Solicitor Litigation Team