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 Full text 
Wednesday, 23 October 2019 - Strasbourg Revised edition

Search and rescue in the Mediterranean (debate)

  Antony Hook (Renew). – Madam President, I find myself speaking on this issue on the day, a black terrible day, when 39 – 39 – people have died being trafficked into the United Kingdom, reportedly including at least one child, on a journey that took them through many Member States.

Earlier this year I spent some time listening to refugees around the English Channel who had previously crossed the Mediterranean, almost all of them, and their experiences come in three stages: destruction in their homeland; secondly, movement to North Africa, which they find remains unsafe; and thirdly, they brave the danger of the Mediterranean because they simply have no other choice. And in some Member States, refugees remain victimised, driven into the hands of these people smugglers, forced to make these more and more dangerous journeys, and children left unaccompanied. We should not listen for one moment to those who oppose search and rescue. Let’s get on and save these lives.

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