THE national status of Monmouthshire has provoked many an argument throughout the region— is it in Wales or is it in England?

The truth probably lies somewhere in the middle.

Some people in the county will undoubtedly feel Welsh, whilst others totally identify with being English.

But the fact is, until the early seventies, the county of Monmouthshire was officially in England.

For instance, on every Ordnance Surveymap the county was clearly shown as being an English county.

All reference books fromthe early Victorian era onwards describes Monmouthshire as being in England.

Many of Monmouthshire’s traditions are wholly English in character.

However, that all changed during a sparsely attended late night debate at Westminster in 1972.

ABill was passed to cede Monmouthshire to Wales. Only a handful of MPs were present and it was they who voted the measure through.

Interestingly, none of the MPs present that night represented any Monmouthshire constituency.

The bill was enacted upon in 1974— but unlike the small county alterations occurring throughout the rest of England, an entire county wasmoved lock, stock and barrel into a neighbouring country—and ever since that time, Monmouthshire has officially been placed within Wales.

Wein the English Democrats think this is a totally undemocratic. It was no business of Westminster to change the entire nationality of a county on the whim of a handful of MPs without, at the very least, consulting the people of that county first.

If Iamelected to the Welsh Assembly, I shall not only represent the people of Monmouth within the Welsh Assembly, tirelessly fighting for your rights, but also lobby for a referendum on the status of Monmouthshire at the earliest possible opportunity for all the citizens of Monmouthshire—to have democratic choice as to whether they want to remain in Wales or to come back to England.

It’s time to exercise your democratic right. It’s time to let the established parties knowthat you cannot any longer be taken for granted.

It’s time to vote for your democratic right. It’s time to vote English Democrats.

English Democrats believe in democracy and in the collective will of the people—and Monmouthshire’s collective will has been appallingly ignored for the past 35 years by successive governments.

Let us put that right!