Its location on the border has often led to sniping that Monmouthshire is not really properly Welsh, but now a bid by an English nationalist party to annex the county is ruffling feathers. The English Democrats want a referendum on whether it should stay in Wales or transfer to England. Here we air both sides of the argument
Monmouth Tory MP and AM David Davies is a firm believer that Monmouth is most definitely in Wales
I have looked into this question in some detail, and what these people are arguing is based on a historical misunderstanding linked to a conspiracy theory.
When Henry VIII reorganised the court system, he decided to put Monmouthshire under English jurisdiction. There is a document which shows he regarded most of Wales as populated by barefooted clowns. Monmouthshire, however, was seen by him as having people who were rather better educated and more prosperous and for that reason he put the county under Oxford for court purposes.
That led to a situation where new laws sometimes referred to Wales and Monmouthshire, leading some to believe that the county was part of England.
There is also a lunatic fringe which claims Monmouthshire was actually a separate country in its own right, and that there has been a huge conspiracy by Welsh nationalists over centuries to unjustly transfer the county to Wales. The fact is Monmouthshire was never part of England.
What blows the English Democrats' argument out of the water is that the Monmouthshire referred to in some old Acts of Parliament was much larger than the Monmouthshire of today. Effectively it is the Gwent area of South East Wales, including Newport and the eastern Valleys. The idea that a referendum proposition in that area to secede from Wales would have any chance of success is a total fantasy.
Even though there was a big majority in Monmouthshire against setting up an Assembly, people show their allegiance to Wales by supporting Welsh national sports teams. There is no grassroots support for transferring Monmouthshire into England, and while the English Democrats may well find someone to stand against me at the next general election, I'm not losing any sleep over the prospect of losing my seat to them.
Page 2 - The English Democrats, whose most high profile member is TV critic Garry Bushell, below, says Monmouth is English. Their argument, outlined on their website states ...