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UK should press pause on deep-sea mining, Labour says

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The Labour party has said the UK should back the call for a precautionary pause on deep-sea mining, ahead of a crucial meeting of nations in Jamaica to decide the future of the industry.

David Lammy, the shadow foreign secretary, said the Labour party was adding its voice to a growing list of countries and businesses urging that moves to start mining be halted “until and unless” there was clear scientific evidence that it could be done safely and the marine environment would be protected by new regulations.

Last week, Ireland and Sweden became the latest developed economies to join scientists, environmental organisations, and multinationals including BMW, Volvo and Samsung, in opposing the rush to mine the deep sea.

Britain is among 14 countries sponsoring exploration or research contracts – the only type allowed so far – by companies intent on mining the deep sea. The others are China, Russia, South Korea, India, France, Poland, Brazil, Japan, Jamaica, Belgium, Nauru, Tonga and Kiribati.

On Monday, the International Seabed Authority (ISA), an autonomous organisation under…

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