HL Deb 07 March 1988 vol 494 c557WA
Lord Kennet

asked Her Majesty's Government:

Which interpretation of international law concerning the territorial sea is observed by NATO navies exercising together in northern waters.

The Minister of State, Foreign and Commonwealth Office (Lord Glenarthur)

As my noble friend Lord Trefgarne explained in his Written Answer on 29th February, we recognise a breadth of 12 nautical miles as the maximum limit for the territorial seas. Carrying out of exercises (such as weapons practice or manoeuvres) by the Royal Navy within foreign territorial seas, as opposed to exercising the right of innocent passage, would require the consent of the coastal state concerend.