A UK Government minister has dismissed suggestions that control over the Crown Estate in Wales should rest with the Welsh Government.

At this week's meeting of the parliamentary Welsh Affairs Committee, Greg Hands, the UK minister for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy, said that he was "not aware" of any issues with the current arrangement, which sees profits from monarchy-owned land and assets in Wales shared between the royal family and the UK Government Treasury.

Asking for someone to "point to the problem", he added that the UK Government has "no plans" to devolve Crown Estate control to Wales - despite allowing Scotland to do so in 2017.


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The Crown Estate is a commercial business that manages land and property owned by the Queen. Here in Wales, it controls assets worth £603 million - according to its own estimates.

Because management of Crown Estate property in Scotland is devolved, the profits are paid back into the Scottish Government.

Beth Winter, Labour MP for Cynon Valley, asked Mr Hands: "When the [Welsh Government] minister for Climate Change gave evidence last week, she said that it is 'completely outrageous' that the Crown Estate is devolved in Scotland and not in Wales.

"There's approximately £550 million there - what are your views on that?"

Appearing somewhat confused, Mr Hands insisted that the Crown Estate "does a really good job", adding that he doesn't "see there being an issue".

Pressed further by Ms Winter, the UK minister said: "I don't think it would be quite appropriate for me to comment on the devolution settlement, other than to say I'm not aware of any plans to devolve the Crown Estate in Wales.

"If someone could point to me what the problem is here, because I see the Crown Estate delivering, right across the country, and I'm not aware of there being an issue with the Crown Estate, and what could be changed or improved by the Crown Estate in Wales being altered.

"I haven't seen that argument."

Despite these claims, devolution of the Welsh Crown Estate has been a frequent topic of discussion this year, with Plaid Cymru's Liz Saville Roberts bringing back her drafted Crown Estate (Devolution to Wales) Bill to Parliament, and an online petition in support of the idea reaching just under 11,000 signatures.

As part of its cooperation deal with Plaid Cymru, it is now Welsh Government policy to pursue control over the Crown Estate in Wales.

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