asked the Secretary of State for Trade, what regulations govern the passage of crude oil tankers (a) in the Minch and (b) in the Sound of Mull; and if he is satisfied that they are sufficient to prevent an accident resulting in oil spillage.
There are no special regulations governing the passage of crude oil tankers in the Minch and the Sound of Mull: under international law all vessels enjoy the right of innocent passage in these waters. I am not aware of any accident in this area resulting in a crude oil spillage. The provisions of the Prevention of Oil Pollution Act 1971 apply and I do not envisage, at present, seeking further powers: regulations of themselves will not prevent accidents. But my Department keeps the position under continual review, in consultation with local interests.