Wales should have say over future of Welsh Trust Ports

Plaid Cymru’s Transport spokesperson, Jonathan Edwards MP, has expressed concern over a consultation on the sale of UK main Trust Ports, which include Wales’ Milford Haven.

The UK Government has this week launched a short 6-week consultation on the plans to privatise the main Trust Ports, which include Dover, Tyne, Milford Haven, Shoreham, Poole and Harwich Haven.

Plaid believe that Wales should be able to benefit from any potential sale of trust ports in Wales and that the Welsh Government should be involved in discussions.

Mr Edwards pointed to confusion over this issue in Westminster following last year’s debate on the ports fund at which the UK Government argued that it was a devolved matter.

Mr Edwards said:

“My concern is that Wales would gain nothing from the sale of the Milford Haven port and that all of the money would end up back with the Treasury in London.

“At present Wales receives no revenue from these ports, neither does it receive any benefit for the gas and oil that passes through Milford Haven.

“In Scotland, because this is devolved, if a trust port were to be sold, then it would be the Scottish Government which benefits.

“If any Welsh ports are to be sold then at least the Welsh Government should be allowed to set the terms and conditions of the sales, and benefit from this.

“We shouldn’t be ripped off by this in the way that the ConDem Government did over harbour improvements which they claimed were devolved when they weren’t.

“Welsh ports were left unable to bid for £60m worth of contracts in the Ports Fund because the ConDems changed the rules.

“They can’t have it both ways – either ports are a devolved issue for the Welsh Government or they are not.”

ENDS / DIWEDD

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