§ Mr. Craigen
asked the Secretary of State for Trade what is the Government's policy towards the practice of flags of convenience; and if he will be seeking discussions at international level with a view to regulating this practice.
§ Mr. Tebbit
The Government consider that, provided internationally agreed safety and social standards are fully observed, each nation should be free to set the economic criteria for the admission of vessels to its register. In discustion of flags of convenience within UNCTAD and OECD, the United Kingdom opposes any measures which would reduce competition in international shipping and raise the cost of international trade.