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Antarctic: Navy

Volume 486: debated on Thursday 22 January 2009

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence whether the Royal Navy currently stations any vessels in the British Antarctic Territory. (248003)

The Royal Navy does not station any vessels in the British Antarctic Territory. Construction of the necessary infrastructure required to support a permanent naval presence would not be permitted under the Antarctic Treaty.

However, the British Antarctic Survey provides a permanent scientific presence in the British Antarctic Territory and Her Majesty's Government are aware of the strategic importance of also maintaining a sovereign presence in Antarctica through Royal Navy patrols of the waters of the Territory in the austral summer.