Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs written question – answered on 8th January 2008.

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Photo of Jeremy Corbyn Jeremy Corbyn Labour, Islington North

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs whether he plans to make a territorial claim on Antarctica; and what advice he has received on potential conflicts with the Antarctic Treaty Act.

Photo of Meg Munn Meg Munn Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Foreign and Commonwealth Office)

The UK has no plans to make any new territorial claim on Antarctica; nor would it do so as that would be contrary to the Antarctic treaty.

The UK has not made any announcements, or final decisions, about any approach to the UN Commission regarding delineation of the outer limits of the continental shelf pertaining to the British Antarctic Territory. The UK will make its intentions known to the Commission prior to the deadline in 2009.

In making any decision to submit information to the UN Commission for the limits of continental shelf, we will of course respect our obligations under the Antarctic treaty and related agreements. We remain fully committed to the treaty, including its protocol on Environmental Protection 1991, which prohibits indefinitely all activity related to mineral resources, other than scientific research, within the treaty area.

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