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Law Of The Sea Treaty

Volume 32: debated on Wednesday 24 November 1982

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45.

asked the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs if Her Majesty's Government will decline to sign the law of the sea treaty without satisfaction of such British interests as fair access for United Kingdom enterprise to minerals on the seabed and the untrammelled sovereignty of Rockall and other such uninhabited territories.

As my right hon. Friend the Prime Minister said on 9 November—[Vol. 31, c. 424]—the clauses on mining the seabed would be disadvantageous to this country, although there are other clauses such as those concerning freedom of navigation which would help us. We must consider carefully the balance of advantage before deciding whether to sign the treaty. In any event, the treaty would not affect our sovereignty over Rockall or other uninhabitable islands.