Email to Dominic Raab, MP

16th April 2015

Dear Mr Raab

Air-Sea Rescue of Refugees in the Mediterranean

I have written to you before about this, requesting that you encourage the government to participate actively in European activity to replace the Italian Government’s Mare Nostrum programme.

I was very disappointed that you responded by sending me a piece by a minister James Brokenshire which suggested that the availability of air-sea rescue facilities was a ‘pull factor’ which would encourage more people to risk their lives in trying to reach a better life on the other side of the Mediterranean.

Frankly, I thought, and continue the think, that such an idea is inhumane, immoral and flies in the face of our commitments under the Safety of Life at Sea Convention (SOLAS 1974, chapter V in particular).

The huge rise in numbers of refugees drowned this year, following the cessation of the Mare Nostrum programme and its replacement by the far less effective Triton, gives the lie to Brokenshire’s appalling suggestion that the availability of rescue facilities in some way encourages these desperate people.

What do you personally think about this? If I encounter you at any of the hustings due to take place locally, I intend to ask you. I hope you are a ‘caring’ Conservative, if this is not a contradiction in terms. We are all human beings, wherever we happen to be born.

I look forward to hearing from you.

Best regards

Hugh Bryant