Stateless nations across the European Union have become increasingly vocal and confident in asserting a desire for autonomy, devolved governance and independence. Meanwhile, identity politics has become a key factor of contemporary European regional development, with utility as a social, economic and governance tool. Culture has become a resource for regional branding to attract inward investment and differentiate in terms of competitiveness. The paper considers whether the utility of identity to regional development might provide an explanation for the growing confidence of European Union stateless nations. We use the case study of Cornwall to explore the correlation, arguing that economic regionalism has provided a space for the articulation of national identities.