Italy: Shipping

Foreign and Commonwealth Office written question – answered on 31st July 2019.

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Photo of Jo Swinson Jo Swinson Deputy Leader, Liberal Democrats, Liberal Democrat Spokesperson (Foreign Affairs), Leader of the Liberal Democrats

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, what discussions he has had with his Italian counterpart on (a) the seizure of international NGO vessels and (b) its potential violations of international maritime law.

Photo of Christopher Pincher Christopher Pincher The Treasurer of Her Majesty's Household, Minister of State

The United Kingdom and Italy participate frequently in discussions on Mediterranean migration, most recently at the EU Foreign Affairs Council on 15 July, the Justice and Home Affairs Council on 18 July, and at an informal Ministerial meeting hosted by France on 22 July. These discussions include the role of NGO-operated Search and Rescue vessels and relevant international maritime law. There are divergent views amongst EU member States. The United Kingdom supports a predictable mechanism for the disembarkation and relocation of rescued migrants, and for all signatories to meet their obligations under the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea and the International Convention for the Safety of Life at Sea.

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