Mediterranean Sea

House of Lords written question – answered on 15th January 2015.

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Photo of Lord Roberts of Llandudno Lord Roberts of Llandudno Liberal Democrat

To ask Her Majesty’s Government whether they have changed their position on supporting search and rescue operations in the Mediterranean.

Photo of Lord Bates Lord Bates The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for the Home Department

HM Government has not changed its policy. Search and rescue operations remain the responsibility of national Governments, although any vessels in the area of a boat in distress, including UK ships, should assist in their rescue according to the usual laws of the sea.

The UK continues to provide support for Frontex’s Operation Triton, which commenced at the EU’s Mediterranean sea border in November. We have recently responded positively to further Frontex requests for contributions to this operation for the coming year.

We have also agreed with our European partners to enhance co-operation within the EU given the continuing pressures in the Mediterranean, and to work with countries of origin and transit seeking sustainable solutions by tackling the causes of illegal immigration along with the organised gangs that facilitate it, and enhancing support in North and East Africa for those who need it.

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