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Welsh Secretary accused of ‘belittling’ Wales on control of Royal profits

30 Jun 2021 3 minutes Read
Plaid Cymru MP Liz Saville Roberts in the House of Commons

The Welsh Secretary has been accused of “belittling” Wales when it comes to control of its own natural resources.

Simon Hart rebuffed a call from Plaid Cymru MP Liz Saville Roberts’ Bill to devolve the power over Royal profits from the Crown Estate to the Senedd.

Plaid’s Westminster leader criticised the Secretary of State for Wales after he disagreed that Wales deserves equal treatment with Scotland on the matter.

During a questioning session in the House of Commons, she presented the Crown Estate (Devolution to Wales) Bill to the House of Commons, which would see the management of the Crown Estate devolved to Wales, as has been the case in Scotland since 2017.

In the year to March 31 2021, the value of the Crown Estate’s marine assets in England, Wales and Northern Ireland has more than doubled, rising from £2 billion to £4.1 billion.

This was largely driven by an auction of seabed leases for offshore wind development in February 2021 which could raise £879 million per year, or £8.8 billion over the next ten years, for the Treasury.

The February auction included ‘Bidding Area 4’ comprising northern Wales and the Irish Sea, covering 8,500 km2. The Crown Estate pays its profits to the Treasury, which normally pays 25 per cent of this to Buckingham Palace in the form of a ‘sovereign grant’.

The Scottish Government is in line for a windfall of up to £860m from a forthcoming auction of Scottish seabed plots for windfarms.

‘Keep revenues’ 

Saville Roberts’ Bill would allow the Welsh Government to keep revenues in Wales instead of returning profits to the Treasury and the Royal Family.

During the session, Liz Saville Roberts MP said: “Last week I presented a Bill to devolve the management of the Crown Estate and our natural resources in Wales, to Wales.

“Scotland gained these powers in 2017, and they’re now reaping the benefits of the green offshore wind revolution. I’m sure he’s aware that the value of the Crown Estate’s remaining sea bed assets – which include those in Wales – has more than doubled over the past year to more than four billion pounds.

“Does the Secretary of State for Wales agree with me that Wales deserves equal treatment with Scotland as regards control over our natural resources?”

In his response, Hart said that he is “in some form of disagreement” that “in order to achieve success in the renewables sector somehow we always have to go back to powers and further devolution.”

Speaking after the session, Saville Roberts added: “Mr Hart had an opportunity to commit to the principle that the people of Wales should be able to reap the benefits of the green industrial revolution just as the people of Scotland are set to do. Instead, he chose to belittle Wales.

“Offshore wind is a historic opportunity for the Welsh economy – it could create thousands of green jobs, while contributing significantly to our efforts to tackle the climate crisis. The people of Wales should be able to direct how best to benefit from that economic opportunity – not Westminster.”

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Chris
Chris
23 days ago

Of course he did. What else did we expect from these Brexiteer yahoos

Ken covack
Ken covack
23 days ago

You expected them to just say yes, this was always going to be a hard case to bring into reality with these money-grabbing bastards, it’s not theirs but they want it all.

Anni Bin Iaith
Anni Bin Iaith
23 days ago
Reply to  Ken covack

As a retire offshore employee I can tell you this:

England has poor off shore relief. It is nigh on impossible to increase its capacity owing to weak rocks and what we call negative / reverse wind.

I attended a meeting where it was stated that 99% of offshore wind capacity for England would come from Wales.

So of the UKs potential £8 Billion of Crown Estate revenue, all but a few million will belong to Wales.

The man heading the meeting, upon hearing that fact, then pronounced : “Good job they will never find out!”

Ymlaen LSR!

AnthonyA Coslett
AnthonyA Coslett
21 days ago
Reply to  Anni Bin Iaith

There are those, are there not, who deny that Cymru is self sustainable ? But the fact that England and her colonial government are, once again, exploiting our natural resources, as they have done and continue to do with our water, as they did with copper, slate and coal, is an indication of their need to hold onto their last first and last colony and lie to her people as they have always done. Those Welsh who still believe in the big English ‘Lie’ really do need to educate themselves, see the bigger picture, accept the unpleasant realities and vote… Read more »

Wrexhamian
Wrexhamian
21 days ago
Reply to  Anni Bin Iaith

This sounds like a wind-up, possibly by a troll. What exactly do you mean by “negative wind”? And “weak rocks” in England? I’m thinking you’ve made it up, perhaps so that you can silently ridicule naive “nashies” for upvoting your comment. This is one instance where a source would be in order.

Your comment has been flagged.

Dewi Davies
Dewi Davies
23 days ago

Someone has to pay towards HS2. Looks like we’ve been nominated.

Chris
Chris
22 days ago
Reply to  Dewi Davies

We’re already paying for their HS2

hdavies15
hdavies15
23 days ago

Hart is a classic “colonial officer”. I don’t know what branch of the Army he served in but it seems to have imbued him with a very 19th century outlook. He will be a serious obstacle to progress as he is cut from the same reactionary cloth as his P.M so unlikely to ever act as a moderating influence.

Chris
Chris
22 days ago
Reply to  hdavies15

I don’t think fat Bunter would have the ability or the temperament to serve in the armed forces. He expects to BE served. 7 course meals by the look of the tubby fascist

Quornby
Quornby
23 days ago

Brad……. Fel arfer.

Wrexhamian
Wrexhamian
22 days ago

Liz Saville-Roberts is, of course, right, but they will laugh her Bill straight into the bin. Welsh resources are not seen as being here for Wales’ benefit. It would be ridiculous to allow a colony to have control over its own natural resources, and Heaven forbid that this country should ever get rich through it. Paid a phoeni; we’ve got Johnson’s “levelling up fund” instead.

Steve Duggan
Steve Duggan
22 days ago

I fear we are going to be rebuffed again – it will be another snub on the way to independence and ‘total’ control of our land and off-shore assets.

AnthonyA Coslett
AnthonyA Coslett
21 days ago
Reply to  Steve Duggan

I agree entirely but it’s not ‘fear’ we need but anger. Real anger at the injustices inflicted upon our people and country over the centuries but especially those of the 20th and 21st centuries and, in particular, those ongoing today. Anger will enable action and action will, more than words, make these Colonialists sit up and understand that they haven’t got things smoothly going their way but that the skies are clouding over and a veritable storm of the most injurious kind is heading their way.

Steve Duggan
Steve Duggan
21 days ago

What is now needed is public consultations, around Wales, that discuss our future as a nation. A stage where we can highlight the benefits of independence rather than focusing on the negatives of the Union. We have have much going for us !

AnthonyA Coslett
AnthonyA Coslett
21 days ago

The Secretary of State for Wales is a disgrace and a man whose loyalties obviously have nothing to do with the future good of her people. Although I would wish for a completely independent Cymru where the Crown Estates have no interest, everything being subsumed into the newly independent State, even those who would prefer a federalist solution to the present impasse must see that the attitude of Hart is shameful in that he sees no injustice in the different powers allotted to the Welsh and Scottish Parliaments. Like the English Prime Minister, he believes that to save their precious… Read more »

Llin
Llin
21 days ago

Yng Nghymru y dylsai pob ceiniog aros, dim dros y ffin iddynt gael gwneud sioe fawr o roi arian i’n cynnal – ein arian ein hunain maent yn ei ddychwelyd i ni

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