§ Mr. Marlow
asked the Secretary of State for Transport why European Economic Community shippers can undertake United Kingdom coastal trade while United Kingdom shippers are excluded from some European Economic Community coastal trade; and whether he intends to take any action in this regard.
§ Mr. David Mitchell
The requirement that coastal cargoes be carried in national flag vessels is included in the legislation of Denmark, France, the Federal Republic of Germany, Greece and Italy; though in some cases the requirement is frequently waived: Belgium, Ireland, the Netherlands and the United Kingdom have no such legislation. British policy on access to all British maritime trade routes reflects its commitment to maintain the widest possible worldwide trading opportunities for British shipping, two thirds of whose freight revenues are earned on trade routes not touching the United Kingdom. Other countries' different policies no doubt reflect their Governments' assessments of their different interests. The Government are committed to work for the wider opening of coastal trades in the EC, and the OECD.