UK Borders: Surveillance - Question

Part of the debate – in the House of Lords at 3:00 pm on 18th December 2017.

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Photo of Lord West of Spithead Lord West of Spithead Labour 3:00 pm, 18th December 2017

My Lords, the Minister makes rather light of the real problem. There is no doubt whatever that all the departments and assets looking after our territorial seas and exclusive economic zone are not being co-ordinated at the moment. I know that there are plans to move forward, but it is not being done. The intelligence from the NMIC, which was established some five years or so ago, is very good but we are not co-ordinating assets, and we do not have enough assets. However, my question relates to our British Overseas Territories, each of which has territorial seas and exclusive economic zones. Indeed, we have responsibility for the largest area of ocean of any country in the world. In that circumstance, does it not make sense not to get rid of the offshore patrol vessels, which are relatively new, when the new ones come online, and to use those to look after these vast areas of ocean that at the moment are not being properly protected?