SNP condemns Tory and Brexit Party MEPS for not supporting migrants in the Mediterranean

SNP MEP Alyn Smith, Member of the Foreign Affairs Committee of the European Parliament, has today condemned Scotland's Conservative and Brexit Party MEPs for failing to support a vital resolution that could have saved lives in the Mediterranean. 

SNP MEP Alyn Smith, Member of the Foreign Affairs Committee of the European Parliament, has today condemned Scotland's Conservative and Brexit Party MEPs for failing to support a vital resolution that could have saved lives in the Mediterranean. 

The resolution called on member states to enhance proactive search and rescue operations by providing sufficient vessels and equipment specifically dedicated to search and rescue operations and personnel.

The votes of the two MEPs from Scotland would have meant the measure was tied as there were 290 votes against and 288 in favour. This year 1080 migrants have already died in the Mediterranean, according to the Missing Migrants Project.

Alyn said:

“This was a very disappointing result. I am proud that the SNP and Liberal Democrats stood up for migrants but it is totally inexplicable for the Scottish Conservatives to abstain on this motion. It also makes a mockery of any pretence they had of standing up for migrants.

“As for the case of the missing Brexit Party MEP, the less said the better.

“Unfortunately though this will cost lives, as the figures for this year already show. No doubt the Parliament will return to this and I hope that those who opposed the motion will reconsider but for now the damage is done.”


The text of the motion states:

“Calls on the EU Member States to enhance proactive search and rescue operations by providing sufficient vessels and equipment specifically dedicated to search and rescue operations and personnel, along the routes where they can make an effective contribution to the preservation of lives, whether under the umbrella of a Frontex-coordinated operation, or under international or separate national or regional operations, preferably civil operations; calls on the Commission to support such initiatives politically and financially; calls on Member States to make full use of all vessels able to assist in search and rescue operations, including vessels operated by NGOs; believes that NGO vessels and merchant shipping should not be a substitute for the due fulfilment by the Member States and the Union of their search and rescue obligations as part of a more long-term, structural and coordinated approach;”

The full resolution can be read here:

https://www.europarl.europa.eu/doceo/document/B-9-2019-0130_EN.html

The results of the votes for the day can be found here (p.194):

https://www.europarl.europa.eu/doceo/document/PV-9-2019-10-24-RCV_FR.pdf

So far 1080 migrants have gone missing from the Mediterranean this year.

https://missingmigrants.iom.int/region/mediterranean