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Undocumented Migrants: English Channel

Question for Home Office

UIN HL7235, tabled on 23 July 2020

To ask Her Majesty's Government under what circumstances migrants seeking to travel by sea from France to the UK who are picked up in distress from international waters by UK ships can be returned to France.

Answered on

6 August 2020

The decision as to where to take a person rescued in international waters is a matter for the Coastguard who are responsible for that rescue zone and the master of the ship which has picked them up.

Usually persons will be taken to the nearest safe Port or the home Ports of the rescuing vessel (particularly if a Lifeboat) but there are many factors which could come into play such as any immediate medical or welfare issues.

Answered by

Home Office