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Mediterranean Sea

Question for Foreign and Commonwealth Office

UIN HL1977, tabled on 6 October 2014

To ask Her Majesty’s Government what naval or air-sea rescue contribution they will make to prevent refugees and migrants drowning in the Mediterranean.

Answered on

15 October 2014

We do not support planned search and rescue operations in the Mediterranean. We believe that they create an unintended ‘pull factor’, encouraging more migrants to attempt the dangerous sea crossing and thereby leading to more tragic and unnecessary deaths. The Government believes the most effective way to prevent refugees and migrants attempting this dangerous crossing is to focus our attention on countries of origin and transit, as well as taking steps to fight the people smugglers who wilfully put lives at risk by packing migrants into unseaworthy boats.