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UK must take action on refugees

Letter to UK Immigration Minister on crisis in the Mediterranean.

Europe and External Affairs Secretary Fiona Hyslop has written to the UK Government Immigration Minister urging him to take action on the Mediterranean refugee crisis.

Ms Hyslop reiterated the Scottish Government’s commitment to offer any support it can to address this desperate situation in her letter to James Brokenshire after his reappointment.

And she stressed the need for the UK and Scottish Governments to work with EU partners to reach agreement on refugee resettlement.

Ms Hyslop drew Mr Brokenshire’s attention to the cross-party support for search and rescue operations in the Mediterranean expressed in a recent Scottish Parliament Member’s debate on the subject.

Ms Hyslop said:

“We must not ignore the appalling toll of lives lost in the Mediterranean. The Scottish Government wants to see collective action across the EU over the lack of search and rescue operations in the Mediterranean.

“This is not a simple issue, but the European Union has a history of addressing complex problems and we must work together to help end the tragic loss of life. We want to see multi-lateral and collective efforts to provide humanitarian assistance to migrants in danger.

“Scotland and the UK must take our fair share of refugees and Europe must reach agreement on refugee resettlement.

“These vulnerable migrants are victims, not a threat. Recognition of the right to life demands a humanitarian response respecting the rights of those fleeing war. We must take action and the Scottish Government once again offers its support to the UK Government to address this desperate situation.”

Notes To Editors

Ms Hyslop wrote on 21 May and previously on 20 January and has raised this issue with the UK Government in JMC(E) meetings.

A Scottish Parliament Members’ debate on the situation in the Mediterranean took place on 6 May.


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