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Resettlement of Vulnerable Syrian Refugees

Part of the debate – in the House of Commons at 12:39 pm on 10th December 2014.

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Photo of James Brokenshire James Brokenshire Minister of State (Home Office) (Security and Immigration) 12:39 pm, 10th December 2014

The decision taken on Mare Nostrum was endorsed by all EU member states because it was felt that the programme was leading to more people putting themselves at risk, and—sadly—more people dying. More than 3,000 people have died crossing the Mediterranean already this year compared with 700 in the previous year. The UK is not part of Frontex, which is the EU body that leads the current work on a pan-EU basis, but we are nevertheless providing two debriefers and a nationality expert to support the operation, and considering what other resources we can provide. On search and rescue, if a vessel is in distress, another vessel in the vicinity will clearly seek to come to its aid. Indeed, as I have already highlighted, a Royal Navy commanded vessel did precisely that in recent weeks.