HL Deb 10 March 1987 vol 485 cc939-40

2.53 p.m.

The Minister of State, Foreign and Commonwealth Office (Baroness Young)

My Lords, I beg to move that this Bill be now read a third time.

Moved, That the Bill be now read a third time.—(Baroness Young.)

Lord Denning

My Lords, I should like to say a few words. I congratulate the Government on this most important Bill which extends the three-mile limit to 12 miles. I also thank Her Majesty's Government for the further statements made in this House that the sovereignty of Her Majesty the Queen extends not only to the sea itself but also to the airspace above and the bed and subsoil beneath, and that the rule of international law, as expressed in the 1958 convention and implied in the 1982 convention, still applies over the territorial seas.

I should like to make one further comment. The Bill only applies to the United Kingdom, but it can also be extended to the Channel Islands and the Isle of Man. I should like consideration to be given to whether representations might not be made to all the countries of the Commonwealth that they might follow suit and extend the limit from three miles to 12 miles. Perhaps representations could also be made to the countries of the European Community. If all the Commonwealth and the countries of Europe followed the same course, it would be effective in international law. However, I congratulate the Government and thank them for this important Bill.

On Question, Bill read a third time; an amendment (privilege) made.

Baroness Young

My Lords, I beg to move that the Bill do now pass.

At this point I should like to place on record my appreciation for the support that I have received from all parts of the House on this Bill. I am particularly grateful for the help and support of my noble friend Lord Campbell of Croy, and for the support from the noble Lord, Lord Cledwyn, and his colleagues. This is a short but important Bill and it is valuable that it has received support from all sides of the House. I am also grateful for the recognition it has been given by the noble and learned Lord, Lord Denning, and for his full support.

Moved, That the Bill do now pass.—(Baroness Young.)

Lord Cledwyn of Penrhos

My Lords, we are glad to have been able to give our support to an historic Bill. In many ways, as the noble and learned Lord, Lord Denning, has said, we have had a number of useful and constructive debates at every stage of the Bill. The speeches made on all sides have been not only interesting, but also important. We wish the Bill a speedy passage.

On Question. Bill passed, and sent to the Commons.