§ Mr. Sanders
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport pursuant to his answer of 13 November 2003,Official Report, column 436W, on decommissioning (American ships), what steps he is taking to ensure further US ships follow the advice of the Maritime and Coastguard Agency.
§ Mr. Jamieson
The Maritime and Coastguard Agency has approved passage plans for the ships in question and will do so in future transits of this kind, as well as monitor ship movements against the approved plans. Flexibility must be provided for legitimate and safe alterations to the precise routes followed when circumstances justify such amendments. The Secretary of State can intervene only if the ships are in UK waters. At that point, he may give a direction only if it is necessary for securing the safety of the ship, other ships, persons or property or for preventing or reducing significant pollution.