England – the view from Cornwall (Fiction)

11th September 2045

Today we remember the tragic destruction of the twin towers in New York forty four years ago, and celebrate Cornish Independence five years ago.

It was a long struggle for Cornwall. With just over half a million people the county could not hope to stand on it’s own. But as it was able to join  the  Celtic Alliance of Wales, Scotland, Ireland, and the Isle of Man (it is expected that the Channel Islands will join soon) it’s future was assured 

The beginnings of Cornish Nationalism followed the Covid Pandemic of the early 2020s.  Thousands of wealthy English citizens bought up properties in Cornwall for prices way beyond the price ranges of the locals.  They were then either used as second homes, lying empty for nine months of the year or rented out to holiday makers at extortionate prices.  Families who had lived in Cornwall for generations were forced to move out of Cornwall simply to find a place to live.

Inevitably  an extreme Cornish Nationalist group emerged who started burning down incomers properties in the same way as the Welsh Nationists did in the 1980.  Like Meibion Glyndŵr this only served to upset the locals who were dependent on the holiday trade.  But the annual overloads of the Cornish hospitals, ambulance services, police forces and the infrastructure in general gave rise to a general dissatisfaction with Westminster.  Cornwall changed from Conservative, to LibDem, to Labour and eventually, in 2034 managed to elect two Mebyon Kernow MPs.  

In 2037, soon after Scotland declared independence and joined the other independent countries of Wales, Ireland, and the Isle of Man in the Celtic Alliance, it was made clear that an independent Cornwall would be welcome to join. Two years later at midnight on 11th of September 2040 Cornwall became an independent nation and 24 hours later they became a member of the Celtic Alliance, with a seat in the HQ in Dublin.

The old Cornish Industry of smuggling seems to be in operation again, but this time it is smuggling goods out of Cornwall (and Wales, and Scotland) into England where officially sold goods are more expensive. The Celtic Alliance trades freely with Europe, and the rest of the world but England still has to form proper trading relationships.  The English authorities tend to turn a blind eye as the lower cost goods help to keep the population happier.

The wall that England was erecting along the borders has been abandoned following the recording of DNA of the entire population and mandatory recording at birth.  The Celtic Alliance has been forced to pledge to return any illegal English migrants in return for a non invasive pledge from England. This followed the storming of Cornwall by English troops in 2042. Returned citizens face long jail stints in England detention centres before trials and sentencing.

By and large the Celts (a strange name, most are not of Celtic origin!) look with interest and amusement at the actions of the Brits (another old name – it just refers to the English now).  The regular elections of new governments, all right wing, and all fiercely patriotic is widely reported throughout the world much to the annoyance of the authorities.

Visitors still flock to Cornwall in the summer, but now the majority are from Wales, Ireland and Scotland.  England has a restriction on how much money holiday makers can take out of the country.