Jokes about Cornish pasties, tin mines and cream teas could soon be on the wrong side of the law.
This is following the announcement that ‘Cornish’ will be added to the Framework Convention for the Protection of National Minorities. A development that means the Government will now have to take “appropriate measures” to protect the Cornish people against ‘threats or acts of discrimination’.
The declaration does not go as far as deciding that Cornish people are a recognised racial group with special legal status. However, if claims of harassment are brought under the Equality Act 2010 it will be open to an Employment Judge to find that they have suffered unlawful discrimination contrary to the protected characteristic of race.
Under the Equality Act 2010 protection against ‘race’ discrimination includes protection against less favourable treatment on the grounds of ethnic origin. The fact that the Cornish like the Welsh, Irish and Scottish have gained official minority status could easily support such a complaint that as a minority group they are being oppressed by the larger community.
It does raise the question; could other regions, with their own particular and unique traditions, now put forward claims that they too should have official recognition?
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