Report (3rd Day)

Part of Parliamentary Voting System and Constituencies Bill – in the House of Lords at 5:30 pm on 9th February 2011.

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Photo of Baroness Butler-Sloss Baroness Butler-Sloss Crossbench 5:30 pm, 9th February 2011

My Lords, as a Cross-Bencher, I wonder whether I might be permitted to say something as someone who has lived in Devon for 45 years. I should like to endorse the fact that Devonians have absolutely nothing in common with Cornwall. The Tamar is a genuine barrier between Devon and Cornwall. Perhaps not all noble Lords will know that although you are welcome to go into Cornwall, you have to pay to come out. I wonder what a Member of Parliament with a constituency partly in Cornwall and partly in Devon would be expected to do if, every time he visited a constituent on one side of the Tamar or the other, he actually had to pay the toll. That is just an indication of the fact that Devon and Cornwall are quite separate places.

So far as we in Devon are concerned, Cornwall is foreign territory. Indeed, that is exactly what the author Daphne du Maurier said in her famous books about Cornwall. She wrote a splendid one that I think is called Rule Britannia in which she wished Cornwall to become independent of the rest of the country. I am not suggesting that Cornwall should be independent, but I believe it should have its own MPs and that they should not trespass upon Devon.