At first sight I was a little puzzled by the news in the Telegraph that the government had given the OK to deep-water oil drilling; "drilling could take place at hundreds of sites off the British coast after MPs ruled out a moratorium" bleated the Cleggograph, in certain ignorance of the topography of the seabed. And as a result no doubt retired insurance agents in Frinton-on-Sea, alerted by the paper, will be waking up to the new threat on their doorsteps. As far as I knew, there was hardly any deep water at all within the UK's 200 mile Economic Zone. A quick look at Google Earth (perhaps someone could pass on the URL to Louise Gray and her subs at the Cleggograph) confirmed the extent of the continental shelf and of shallow seas - just a few areas off the NW of Scotland, and the trench between the Shetlands and the Faroes, were deep water.
Then I remembered Rockall. It's ours, of course, but the pesky Irish, Faroese and even the skint Icelanders have all registered a claim with the UN. It's within 200 miles of Scotland and comes under Harris Council, who recently granted planning consent for a replacement plaque on the rock proclaiming the UK's ownership. Now the problem is, for us to claim a 200m zone around Rockall, it needs to be permanently inhabited, and this is an excellent challenge for Cameron. I'm sure the west-country chap with the oversized buggers' grips who made the Mars lander could turn his hand to a pod that would bolt onto the rock and provide a habitation for a permanent scientific team - why not?