Aleteia logoAleteia logo
Thursday 23 September |
Saint of the Day: St. Pio of Pietrelcina
home iconNews
line break icon

UK Refuses to Back Mediterranean Rescue Missions


A handout picture released by the Italian coast guard on June 14, 2014 shows migrants on a boat being rescued off the coast of the Calabria region in southern Italy. The Italian coast guard rescued around 281 asylum-seekers, including 93 children and six women in the Mediterranean as an influx of asylum-seekers try to reach Europe. AFP PHOTO / GUARDIA COSTIERA<br /> <br /> --RESTRICTED TO EDITORIAL USE - MANDATORY CREDIT &quot;AFP PHOTO / GUARDIA COSTIERA&quot; - NO MARKETING NO ADVERTISING CAMPAIGNS - DISTRIBUTED AS A SERVICE TO CLIENTS --

Greg Daly - published on 10/29/14 - updated on 06/07/17

Catholic Herald he was “disappointed” by the government’s refusal to support search and rescue operations, saying that “All the evidence shows that such operations are needed now more than ever as people flee violence and persecution in many troubled parts of our world.”

Maurice Wren, chief executive of the British Refugee Council, said Britain’s government “seems oblivious to the fact that the world is in the grip of the greatest refugee crisis since the Second World War,” adding that, “People fleeing atrocities will not stop coming if we stop throwing them life-rings; boarding a rickety boat in Libya will remain a seemingly rational decision if you’re running for your life and your country is in flames. The only outcome of withdrawing help will be to witness more people needlessly and shamefully dying on Europe’s doorstep.”

Perhaps the most damning response came from Sarah Teather MP, the Catholic and Liberal Democrat chair of Westminster’s All-Party Parliamentary Group on Refugees, who described the government’s decision as “deeply depressing,” and said that “when it comes to immigration, the Government has plumbed new depths of inhumanity.” 

Castigating how Britain’s willingness to bomb the Islamic State group and arm combatants in the Middle East has not been matched by offers of protection for those fleeing the conflict, Teather described a recent visit to Lebanon, where nearly a quarter of the population are refugees, and said that “we cannot pretend this problem has nothing to do with us and wash our hands as people die. It is the policies we are pursuing, attempting to turn Europe into a fortress with no safe routes in, that is forcing migrants into risking their lives. We are forcing people to choose between dying in their own war torn country and drowning in the sea.”

“How depressing,” she concluded, “that the UK’s response, rather than to extend a hand of welcome, is to turn our back on the biggest refugee crisis for over half a century. We should all be ashamed.”

Greg Daly covers the U.K. and Ireland for Aleteia.

  • 1
  • 2
Pope FrancisRefugeesUnited Kingdom
Support Aleteia!

If you’re reading this article, it’s thanks to the generosity of people like you, who have made Aleteia possible.

Here are some numbers:

  • 20 million users around the world read every month
  • Aleteia is published every day in seven languages: English, French, Italian, Spanish, Portuguese, Polish, and Slovenian
  • Each month, readers view more than 50 million pages
  • Nearly 4 million people follow Aleteia on social media
  • Each month, we publish 2,450 articles and around 40 videos
  • We have 60 full time staff and approximately 400 collaborators (writers, translators, photographers, etc.)

As you can imagine, these numbers represent a lot of work. We need you.

Support Aleteia with as little as $1. It only takes a minute. Thank you!

Daily prayer
And today we celebrate...

Top 10
Domitille Farret d'Astiès
Attacked with acid as a baby, Anmol Rodriguez overcomes and inspi...
Our Lady of La Salette
Philip Kosloski
How Our Lady of La Salette can give us hope in darkness
Philip Kosloski
An alternative Hail Mary to Our Lady of Sorrows
Philip Kosloski
Pray this Psalm when you successfully recover from an illness
Cecilia Pigg
7 Ways the saints can help you sleep better at night
Philip Kosloski
Your body is not a “shell” for your spirit
Philip Kosloski
Why do some Eastern Catholics use spoons for Holy Communion?
See More
Get Aleteia delivered to your inbox. Subscribe here.