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Plaid Cymru in call for corporation tax to procurement rules to be devolved post-Brexit

Plaid Cymru leader Adam Price will today call for Wales to be given a suite of new devolved powers post-Brexit, including over corporation tax and procurement to support indigenous buisnesses.

While the nature of the UK’s future trading relationship with the EU is still unclear, and could take far longer to negotiate to cover goods and services, than Boris Johnson’s stated aim of being finalised by year end, Mr Price, at a speech in Cardiff, will say it is time for Wales to focus on new opportunities as he shifts his party’s position on Brexit.

The UK will leave the EU this Friday, but during the transition period will effectively remain part of the EU single market and a rule taker until a new trading deal is struck.

Mr Price said that whilst “we weren’t all leavers” the UK and Wales would now be leaving the EU and that there was little point in fighting “yesterday’s battles.”

 He said it was time to turn the “power grab” into a “power gain” and take advantage of some of the flexibilities afforded to Wales outside the European Union including:

  • The ability of the Wales Development Bank to lend without the constraints of state aid rules. 
  • Devolve power over corporation tax, capital gains tax on property, apprenticeship levy and  air passenger duty.
  • Develop new procurement rules to support the foundational economy.
  • Create Welsh freeports at key ports and airports.
  • Establish Welsh work permits as part of a Welsh migration system.

Mr Price, whose party was unified in campaigning for the UK to remain in the EU referendum,  said that Wales could have powers to vary corporation tax or VAT after it leaves the EU. Under EU rules, countries must apply a minimum standard VAT rate of 15%.

He added that powers over public procurement rules could be devolved to Wales alongside a government  made in Wales and “buy Welsh” programme.

Speaking ahead of his speech at the Pierhead building, Mr Price:  “We weren’t all leavers but we are all leaving now and there is little point in continuing to rehearse these arguments or fighting yesterday’s battles. That, to me, is emblematic of the future facing Wales.  It is the Red Dragon of Wales that will be taking back control, and if Plaid Cymru has anything to do with it, eventually setting us on a new course.

   

“Simply defending the status quo is no longer enough.  It’s time to focus on the new opportunities in the new landscape. Northern Ireland has special status.

“The north of England will see a lot of investment. Scotland will be a continued focus because of the movement for independence. We need a positive post-Brexit plan for Wales and a stronger Senedd with more powers to tackle and solve Wales’ economic problems.

“We could have new flexibility over tax – such as powers to vary corporation tax or VAT for key sectors like construction and tourism.

We could also secure power over public procurement rules to allow to support our foundational economy programme based on a local import substitution alongside a government backed Made in Wales and Buy Welsh programme.”

The AM for Carmarthen East and Dinefwr said instead of focusing on the losses from the EU’s single market, Wales now to start to focus on the new opportunities in a new landscape.

He added: “We must ditch the old sense of resignation: when England catches cold, Wales catches pneumonia. 

It’s time instead to dose up on some economic vitamin C – inject the ‘Welsh Vavavoom’ into our new way of thinking.

“Leaving the European Union does not mean leaving the hope of a new Wales behind and for those of us who want to channel our positive energy we can turn the next fifteen months into Wales’s transition period.”

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