HC Deb 26 June 1995 vol 262 cc533-4W
Mr. Foulkes

To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment what factors led to the United Kingdom signing the United Nations law of the sea convention in relation to the abandonment of offshore oil and gas installations. [28924]

Mr. Atkins

The United Kingdom did not sign the United Nations convention on the law of the sea. Part XI—on mining the deep seabed—contained provisions unacceptable to the United Kingdom and most other industrialised states. An agreement adopted in July 1994 resolved these problems before the convention entered into force in November 1994. My hon. Friend the Member for Morecambe and Lunesdale (Sir M. Lennox-Boyd) announced to the House on 20 July 1994 the United Kingdom's intention to accede to the convention. The provisions of the convention which deal with artificial islands, installations and structures on the continental shelf are consistent with the policies and legislation of the United Kingdom.