Cornish MPs Dan Rogerson, Stephen Gilbert and Andrew George predict that the campaign to “Keep Cornwall Whole” could succeed today if everyone sticks to their guns. The electoral registration plans being debated in the Commons today could be used as a vehicle to halt the Prime Minister’s plan to create a “Devonwall” constituency, and the dismantling of the Cornish border – a move fiercely opposed by local people.
Speaking prior to the debate, MP for St Ives Andrew George said: “This is our best chance to halt plans to dismantle the Cornish border. We’ve stood together before, across all parties and none, shoulder to shoulder. Today’s vote is the one that really counts. This is the moment when sincerity to Cornwall is tested. Surely no-one will bottle it now, I certainly won’t.”
Dan Rogerson, whose North Cornwall constituency would be particularly affected if the changes are made, said: “North Cornwall is totally opposed to border change. We’re looking to all parties to stick together on this.”
Stephen Gilbert, MP for St Austell and Newquay, appealed to his Conservative colleagues to put the wishes of their constituents above the party line: “It would be very disappointing if Cornwall’s Conservative MPs care more about the party whip than they do about the interests of the people of Cornwall”.
If MPs support an amendment to the Electoral Registration and Administration Bill constituency boundary changes will be delayed until after the next General Election in 2015. There would then be a chance to overturn plans to create a cross border constituency in the new Parliament.
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