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Thread: UK axes support for Mediterranean migrant rescue operation

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    Default UK axes support for Mediterranean migrant rescue operation

    Britain will not support any future search and rescue operations to prevent migrants and refugees drowning in the Mediterranean, claiming they simply encourage more people to attempt the dangerous sea crossing, Foreign Office ministers have quietly announced.

    Refugee and human rights organisations reacted with anger to the official British refusal to support a sustained European search and rescue operation to prevent further mass migrant drownings, saying it would contribute to more people dying needlessly on Europe’s doorstep.

    The British refusal comes as the official Italian sea and rescue operation, Mare Nostrum, is due to end this week after contributing over the past 12 months to the rescue of an estimated 150,000 people since the Lampedusa tragedies in which 500 migrants died in October 2013.

    The Italian operation will now end without a similar European search and rescue operation to replace it. The Italian authorities have said their operation, which involves a significant part of the Italian navy, is unsustainable. Despite its best efforts, more than 2,500 people are known to have drowned or gone missing in the Mediterranean since the start of the year.

    Instead of the Italian operation, a limited joint EU “border protection” operation, codenamed Triton and managed by Frontex, the European border agency, is to be launched on 1 November. Crucially, it will not include search and rescue operations across the Mediterranean, just patrols within 30 miles of the Italian coast.

    Human rights organisations have raised fears that more migrants and refugees will die in their attempt to reach Europe from the north African coast. The hard-pressed Italian navy will be left to mount what search and rescue operations it can. The new European operation will have only a third of the resources of the Italian operation that is being phased out.

    British policy was quietly spelled out in a recent House of Lords written answer by the new Foreign Office minister, Lady Anelay: “We do not support planned search and rescue operations in the Mediterranean,” she said, adding that the government believed there was “an unintended ‘pull factor’, encouraging more migrants to attempt the dangerous sea crossing and thereby leading to more tragic and unnecessary deaths”.
    UK axes support for Mediterranean migrant rescue operation

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    Registered Member Whitesnake's Avatar
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    Default Re: UK axes support for Mediterranean migrant rescue operation

    That should keep the Daily Mail readers happy

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