Plaid Cymru’s Westminster leader will tackle Boris Johnson over devolving responsibility at Prime Minister’s Questions
Wales should be given powers over its own seabeds so the country can cash in on a half-billion-pound renewable energy “gold rush”, Boris Johnson will be told tomorrow .
Welsh nationalists Plaid Cymru will call on the Prime Minister to give Cardiff Bay responsibility for the nation’s Crown Estate land – meaning it can reap the benefits when energy firms build wind farms off the coast.
Plaid’s Westminster leader Liz Saville Roberts is expected to issue the demand when she tackles the Conservative premier at Prime Minister’s Questions at noon.
She will highlight next month’s COP26 climate summit in Glasgow as the ideal catalyst for an announcement.
Get a daily morning politics briefing straight to your inbox. Sign up for the free Mirror Politics newsletter
“While the UK and Scottish Government reap the benefits of a green gold rush, Wales is missing out,” she told the Mirror.
“COP26 must put people at the heart of our net zero mission.
“But currently, the people of Wales are losing out on the clean energy revolution while Westminster reaps the benefits.
“Today I will call on the Prime Minister to support my Crown Estate Devolution Bill, which will ensure that profits from our natural resources go to the people of Wales, not Westminster.”
The Crown Estate, which manages land on behalf of the Queen, owns the seabed to a distance of 12 nautical miles off the coast.
It leases seabeds for offshore wind developments to generate renewable energy and pump funds into the Treasury.
The Crown Estate pays its profits to the Treasury, which normally hands 25% to Buckingham Palace through the Sovereign Grant.
In February, the Crown Estate announced six proposed new offshore wind projects in the waters around England and Wales, including one north east of Anglesey.
The 1,500 megawatt wind farm could power nearly 1.4 million homes and potentially cut carbon emissions by 2.34m tonnes.
The Crown Estate’s five-page “Wales Highlights 2020/21” document says: “As a result of Offshore Wind Leasing Round 4 the valuation of our marine portfolio in Wales has increased significantly in the year from £49.2 million to £549.1 million.”
Ms Saville Roberts wants that money to go to Wales.
She said: “For too long, the UK’s economy has left people behind while wealth and investment has been concentrated in the South East of England.
“Our clean energy revolution must not continue to leave Wales out in the cold.
“Devolving powers over the Crown Estate would bring half a billion pounds of green assets under Welsh control.
“This will help ensure that it is the people of Wales who benefit from this historic opportunity to create a greener future.
“Much will be said about ‘levelling up’ in the coming weeks; if that is to mean anything, the people of Wales must be equipped to manage our offshore wind and tidal resources for everyone’s benefit.”