HL Deb 08 February 1979 vol 398 c965WA

asked Her Majesty's Government:

What straits in the Arctic Ocean seas listed they consider to be international straits; and when a British vessel last exercised the right of innocent passage through them.


The relevant international instruments do not include or define the concept of international straits, but various international instruments lay down special rules for straits which are "used for international navigation". It has not yet been internationally determined which straits in the Arctic Ocean fall into this category. For the reasons given in my reply to the noble Lord's earlier Question, I am not in a position to give detailed information on the movements of British ships in the sea areas mentioned. The right of innocent passage applies to all areas of territorial waters whether in straits or elsewhere.