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British Overseas Territories

Volume 465: debated on Thursday 25 October 2007

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs if he will list the areas where the UK has plans to stake territorial claims; and if he will make a statement. (159989)

The UK has so far made one claim to the UN Commission on the limits of the continental shelf (CLCS) for the extension of the continental shelf under Article 76 of the UN convention of the law of the sea. We are also considering lodging up to four more claims before the right to do so expires in May 2009.

The UK has submitted a claim, jointly with France, Ireland and Spain, for an area of the Bay of Biscay, and this is currently under consideration by the CLCS. The UK is also considering the potential submission of claims for the areas around the Ascension Islands, off the British Antarctic Territory, around the Falkland Islands and South Georgia, and in the Hatton/Rockall area.