HC Deb 15 July 1994 vol 246 cc1293-4

Lords amendment: No. 3, in page 3, line 22, at end insert— ("and provision authorising the making of regulations authorises the amendment or revocation of regulations made by virtue of paragraph (e) of the said subsection (4).")

Motion made, and Question proposed, That this House doth agree with the Lords in the said amendment.-[Mr. Harris.]

Ms Walley

Will the amendment make it easier for the Government to lead discussions at next year's North sea conference in Denmark on the need to curb deliberate and continual dumping of oil at sea? That matter was mentioned briefly in the debate on amendment No. 1.

Mr. Norris

I can assure the hon. Lady on that point. Plainly, the extension of the United Kingdom's jurisdiction for counter-pollution measures will apply to the law not only as it stands but to any future law. The amendment makes that clear.

Mr. Quentin Davies

The clause is extremely important, because it gives effect to the provision in the law of the sea conference that coastal states can extend their jurisidiction over waters beyond the territorial sea for the purposes of controlling marine pollution. This island is beside the world's busiest sea lane, between the English channel and the North sea. A small proportion of ships passing our coasts fly the British flag or the flags of the other coastal states. Therefore, it is important to exploit the possibilities provided by the new law of the sea that emerged from the 1982 convention to apply our own standards as a coastal state.

The amendment is sensible; it makes it clear that when the legislation is used to extend coastal state jurisdiction by regulation, we can subsequently change the regulations. That is important, because, from time to time, marine pollution regulations need to be revised without having to go back on that essential extension of the jurisdiction of this country over the seas beyond our territorial waters. I hope that the amendment will be accepted.

Question put and agreed to.

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