I am writing to express my concern and distress over the humanitarian crisis currently facing those migrants who, fleeing war, are willing to risk death to cross the Med to reach the relative safety of mainland Europe. After the EU refused to support Italy’s admirable Mare Nostrum efforts to rescue migrants, the numbers dying have risen. While any death is unacceptable, the loss of so many fellow human beings, young, old, woman and men, cannot be tolerated. The logic behind this refusal to support Italy was that no rescue would reduce migration, despite acknowledgement that this was based on anecdotal evidence (http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/p02pp5hl).
Britain’s inability to effectively manage its role in other countries is at least partly responsible for this mass migration. We surely have a responsibility, as humans, and as a wealthy country help people who are in extreme suffering. Would we stand by as people drowned on our doorstep, or would we, like the brave civilians of Italy, Greece and Malta wade into the water to help. While British politicians have made noises about the evils of people smuggling, they have allowed our own culpability in this crisis to remain hidden.
The Guardian’s considered piece on the options is worth reading http://www.theguardian.com/world/2015/apr/21/migrant-tragedies-how-to-stop-the-slaughter
It is clear that we must, if we have a conscience, work to help people in dire need. I hope you will consider pushing the EU to an effective solution to this crisis, including demanding an immediate restart to the rescue. The Med has become the most dangerous crossing point on earth for migrants. This is to our shame and it is within our power to do something about this.
I look forward to hearing from you with a positive response.