Douglas Alexander – 2015 Comments on Migrants in Mediterranean

The comments made by Douglas Alexander, the then Shadow Foreign Secretary, on 22 April 2015.

Foreign Office Ministers spent months arguing against search and rescue missions, opposed them at an EU level and didn’t even reference them in recent public statements as recently as this weekend.

Yet today, under pressure in the BBC’s Daily Politics Election Debate on Foreign Affairs, Philip Hammond admitted that search and rescue must form part of any EU response to this crisis in the Mediterranean.

Now it’s time to turn Philip Hammond’s words into practical European action. So when he goes to Brussels this week, David Cameron carries a heavy responsibility to ensure an urgent reassessment of the current EU patrol mission to prevent further loss of life.

Six months ago it was his own Minister, Baroness Anelay, who said that search and rescue in the Mediterranean created “unintended pull factors”, but today the Foreign Secretary has been forced to admit the government were just wrong.