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House of Commons Hansard
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Race Relations Act 1976
06 March 2007
Volume 457
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To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government whether (a) Welsh and (b) Irish people meet the definition of racial groups under the Race Relations Act 1976; and what definition her Department uses of the term (i) racial and (ii) ethnic. [123465]

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Section 3(1) of the Race Relations Act 1976 states that “racial group” means

“a group of persons defined by reference to colour, race, nationality or ethnic or national origins...”

The determination of whether a particular group meets this definition is ultimately a matter for the courts, rather than the Government. However, our understanding is that the Welsh and Irish do meet the definition of racial group under the Race Relations Act. Outside the context of the Race Relations Act this Department is not prescriptive in its everyday use of the terms “racial” and “ethnic”.