Illegal Seaborne Migration

Part of the debate – in the House of Commons at 4:16 pm on 4th June 2019.

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Photo of Mike Penning Mike Penning Conservative, Hemel Hempstead 4:16 pm, 4th June 2019

As the Minister responsible for deploying the Royal Navy off the Libyan coast during Operation Sophia, I am surprised that the crews of HMS Enterprise and HMS Mersey were not able to pick up these people. They may not have been drowning, but the crews have great expertise in dealing with such situations from previous operations. Were they instructed not to intercept unless there was a crisis? What operational orders were given to the Royal Navy?