There is “no public appetite at all” to devolve powers over the Crown Estate to Wales, according to the Secretary of State for Wales, Simon Hart. That's in spite of a popular petition which has reached almost 10,000 signatures in a month

Mr Hart was giving a response to a question by SNP MP Joanna Cherry, and added in response to Allan Dorans MP that devolving the powers to Wales would be “off-putting” to the renewable energy sector.

However, SNP MP Richard Thomson pointed out that “it hasn’t put off investment in Scotland”, in reference to the recent £700m ScotWind leasing auction, which attracted more than 70 bids from energy companies, utility firms and investment funds from around the world. 

Plaid Cymru MP Hywel Williams said that devolving the Crown Estate to Wales would provide much needed revenue for the Welsh Government to tackle the cost-of-living crisis. Currently, profits in Wales go to the UK Government due to powers being held in Westminster.

“The Secretary of State has just said that there is no public interest or appetite at all for devolving the Crown Estate," Mr Williams told the Commons. "By this morning 10,000 have signed a petition asserting Wales’s right to reap the benefits of our own natural resources.

“The Scotwind auction raised almost £700m for Scotland’s public finances, and to reassure the Secretary of State, this is not a new tax. In the heat of the cost-of-living crisis, Scottish renewable natural resources generate revenue for the benefit of the Scottish people, providing a better welfare service than that in Wales.

“Is it not clear that devolving the Crown Estate to Scotland has improved government’s ability to respond to the cost-of-living crisis, and so it would in Wales?”

The Secretary of State for Wales, Simon Hart MP retorted: “Shock horror that that petition was going to be raised. It represents a tiny, tiny proportion of the people of Wales.”

Hywel Williams responded: “‘Parity with Scotland’ is possibly not be the catchiest of slogans, but here, it is simply a matter of fairness. So will the Secretary of State now commit, in this Parliament, to the devolution of the Crown Estate to Wales?”

Simon Hart responded, “No, Mr Speaker.”

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