Wales politics

Economy depends on devolution agreement, says Crabb

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Media captionStephen Crabb says politicians need to focus on the economy and services

Welsh Secretary Stephen Crabb has called on political parties to "end the arguments" about devolution so they can focus on boosting the Welsh economy.

"Ambitious" plans to transfer more powers from Westminster to Wales were promised by the UK government earlier in November.

Tax powers are already included in the Wales Bill going through Parliament.

Mr Crabb reinforced a St David's Day deadline for agreement on future priorities in a speech in Cardiff.

'Tiring debate'

He promised a model outlining reserved powers for the UK Parliament, with everything else considered to be devolved, and a fresh look at the issue of funding.

"I want us to use this opportunity, this unique moment in our nation's history, to look positively at how we secure the best possible devolution settlement for Wales," he said, in a speech organised by the Institute of Welsh Affairs.

"I want to move forward in a realistic, open minded and pragmatic way.

"And at the end of it I want a devolution settlement for Wales which is stronger and more balanced, which works for the people of Wales.

"And that includes a Welsh government which is more accountable to the people who elect it.

"In short, I want a clear, robust and lasting devolution settlement for Wales - a settlement that ends the constant, tiring debate about powers which has characterised Welsh politics for 15 years but which has so little resonance with Welsh voters, and lets the assembly and the Welsh government get on with the job of delivering economic growth and improving public services.

"Let's end the arguments about devolution and focus on getting the Welsh economy in gear.

"Only by working together across the political spectrum, across parties and between the two governments, can we can show the people of Wales ahead of the next election that we're serious about strengthening devolution and making it work for all the people."

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