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Volume 268: debated on Tuesday 12 December 1995

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To ask the Secretary of State for Defence if he will make a statement concerning the revised submarine code of practice; and if he will place a copy of the code in the Library. [5149]

My officials and representatives of the fishing industry have agreed a number of revisions to the code of practice which governs the conduct of dived submarines in waters frequented by fishing vessels. The key amendments reflect the appointment by flag officer submarines of a fisheries liaison officer, and the introduction of a fishing vessel safety ship during exercises which involve both dived submarines and surface naval vessels.The steady progress made in this important area reflects the greatly improved relations which now exist between the submarine and fishing communities. I am most grateful to the fishermen's representatives for their very constructive and helpful contribution to this process.The revised code will be promulgated in January 1996 and a copy will be placed in the Library of the House.