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Offshore Oil And Gas (Channel Islands)

Volume 892: debated on Tuesday 13 May 1975

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asked the Secretary of State for Energy (1) what information he has about exploration for oil or gas in the vicinity of the Islands of Guernsey and Jersey;(2) whether the current exploration for oil or gas in the vicinity of the Channel Islands was licensed or otherwise authorised by Her Majesty's Government, and if he regards the sea bed within three miles and 12 miles, respectively, of Guernsey, Jersey and Sark as being within the jurisdiction of the Crown and/or Her Majesty's Government in the United Kingdom.

I am unaware of any such exploration. Beyond three miles from the Channel Islands Her Majesty's Government have sovereignty over the Continental Shelf up to the boundary with France which has yet to be determined. I am advised by my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for the Home Department that Parliament and the Islands legislature both have power to legislate for the territorial waters, i.e. within three miles, surrounding the islands and for the sea bed beneath those waters, but it is normal practice for the islands' legislatures to do so.