§ Mr. Spearing
asked the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs if he will outline the rights of the United Kingdom, relative to the EEC treaties and expected future international agreements, in respect of the resources of the sea and sea bed, other than fisheries, not covered by North Sea agreements.
§ Mr. Luard
The United Kingdom already has sovereign rights for the purpose of exploring for and exploiting the living and non-living resources of the Continental Shelf as far as the outer edge of the continental margin. The European Commission has indicated that the natural resources of the Continental Shelf belong entirely to the member States concerned, which may therefore derive the full economic advantage from them.
As regards the future, Her Majesty's Government join in the extensive support at the United Nations Law of the Sea Conference for an exclusive economic zone, within which the coastal State would exercise sovereign rights over all living and non-living economic resources of the sea and sea bed. Her Majesty's Government have also proposed that the conference should declare that the coastal State's jurisdiction over Continental Shelf resources extends as far as the outer edge of the margin, where this lies more than 200 miles from the coast, and support proposals at the conference that coastal 488W States should share with the international community a proportion of the revenue derived from exploitation of Continental Shelf resources beyond 200 miles. Her Majesty's Government also hope that the conference will reach agreement on an international régime to govern the exploitation of the mineral resources of the deep sea bed beyond the limits of national jurisdiction.