Almost all modern democracies have decided to decentralise power in one form or another and produce units of democracy smaller than that of the so called nation-state. From the states of America, through the lander of Germany to the devolved nations of the UK; power should no longer be the express privilege of those residing in state capitals.
Democratic empowerment, economic regeneration and the protection of cultural specificities are the generally recognised benefits provided by regional autonomy. So the question is why devolve power to Cornwall and not some larger South West or Devonwall region. For regional autonomy to work you need a collective sense of destiny. You need an identity for the region you wish to devolve power to. If Prescott’s North East government zone had had a little more pertinence to peoples actual identities then perhaps the outcome of the referendum would have followed those of Scotland and Wales. The Cornish exist and an increasing number of people in the Duchy, and beyond, are ready to affirm their national identity as Cornish rather than English or British.