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.