Chief Treasury Secretary Danny Alexander made the announcement on a visit to Bodmin in Cornwall County, on England’s southwestern peninsula.
The move comes under Council of Europe rules for the protection of national minorities, and ensures that minority rights are respected in fighting discrimination, promoting equality, and preserving the culture and identity of the minority.
It also stipulates minorities should be protected from “assimilation,” a less-clear ideal, and states governments must take “appropriate measures” to protect against “threats or acts of violence.”
“A lot of people have been working for many years to get Cornwall the recognition other Celtic people in the U.K. already receive. The detail is still to come out on what this might mean, but make no mistake, that this is a proud day for Cornwall,” said Dick Cole, leader of Mebyon Kernow, a Cornish independence group.