Socialist Worker

Britain denies help to refugees in ship horror

Issue No. 2435

Tory minister Lady Anelay, who opposes rescuing refugees

Tory minister Lady Anelay, who opposes rescuing refugees (Pic: UK embassy in Holy See on flickr)

The true horrors of the European Union’s “Fortress Europe” have been revealed again over the new year. 

The policy forces desperate refugees and migrants to pay to be transported on unsafe ships.

Four were found dead on the Blue Sky M—carrying almost 800 Syrians—when a patrol found it adrift off the coast of Greek island Corfu. 

Italian police have arrested those who they believe were the boat’s crew. They had mingled with the refugees when it was boarded, rather than abandoning them as early news reports suggested.

On New Year’s Day Icelandic coastguard vessel Tyr found livestock freighter Ezadeen. As it approached a woman called out, “We are alone and we have no one to help us.” 

Some 360 migrants were on board, including 74 children. 

The Tyr was taking part in international Mare Nostrum patrols to rescue migrants off southern Italy.

Mare Nostrum vessels have saved more than 170,000 migrants over the last 

14 months. The UN recorded that 3,419 died attempting the crossing in 2014 alone.

But Tory foreign minister Lady Anelay said last October that Britain will not support the rescue policy as it is “encouraging more migrants to attempt the dangerous sea crossing”. 

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