Wales Election 2016

Welsh election: Plaid could call another powers referendum says Wood

Leanne Wood

Plaid Cymru Welsh ministers could call a referendum on further assembly powers, the party's leader has said.

Leanne Wood said if Plaid wins power in Thursday's election ministers could call a public vote if the UK government refused to negotiate on devolution.

Plaid wants new powers that include policing, income taxes and reforms to the way the Welsh government is funded.

UK ministers' have delayed their further devolution proposals until the summer, after criticism of the plans.

In February, the previous Welsh Secretary Stephen Crabb promised "significant changes" to the draft Wales Bill, after claims it was confusing and would leave Welsh ministers with fewer powers.

Plaid Cymru's manifesto states that within days of winning power its ministers would begin urgent talks with the UK government seeking "immediate progress" on implementing constitutional changes.

Speaking on the BBC Radio Wales Good Morning Wales programme, Ms Wood said: "We have a whole raft of things that are yet to be implemented that have got cross-party agreement.

"If people vote for a Plaid Cymru government next Thursday than they will be voting for a mandate for us to implement all of those policies and recommendations, from the Silk Commission and so on, that have already been agreed cross-party.

"The point is that if the UK government refused to consider to negotiate with us - we've got an unwritten constitution [and] all constitutional changes are done by negotiation.

"And we reserve the right to hold a referendum on the principle of making sure that we get the powers we need in this country."

Plaid's manifesto says independence "remains our long-term aspiration" but it can only be achieved "stage by stage".

The last devolution referendum was held in Wales in 2011, in which 63.5% of voters backed giving the assembly direct law-making powers, 14 years after the referendum that established the institution.

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