Navy: International Waters

Defence written question – answered on 15th July 2008.

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Photo of Mike Hancock Mike Hancock Liberal Democrat, Portsmouth South

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what role the Royal Navy has in the defence of (a) trade and (b) shipping in international waters; and if he will make a statement.

Photo of Bob Ainsworth Bob Ainsworth The Minister of State, Ministry of Defence

The Royal Navy maintains a constant presence in the Gulf, Arabian sea, Indian ocean, Mediterranean and Atlantic to ensure that the vital sea lanes and choke points along the maritime trade routes are preserved for free, safe and lawful use. This task is achieved in collaboration with other navies and coastguards through a series of coalition maritime operations and strategic alliances.

The Royal Navy also works closely with other Government Departments on shipping protection issues and maintains a worldwide Maritime Trade Operations policy which is capable of providing a range of options to support British merchant shipping.

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