Italy demands Britain takes in 141 migrants on Gibraltan rescue boat – UK



Italy has demanded Britain take in 141 migrants rescued by a ship that flies under the flag of Gibraltar.

The group was picked up in the Mediterranean Sea by French humanitarian workers on Friday.

They boarded their boat, the Aquarius, and tried to dock in Italy.

Italian officials refused them permission, continuing a commitment not to let ships run by humanitarian groups dock there.

Italy's Infrastructure and Transport Minister Danilo Toninelli delivers a speech during a ceremony for the 153rd anniversary of the Italian Coast Guard (Guardia Costiera) at the command headquarters of the Italian Coast Guard Authorities in Rome, on July 18, 2018. (Photo by Andreas SOLARO / AFP) (Photo credit should read ANDREAS SOLARO/AFP/Getty Images)
Danilo Toninelli declared Italy would refuse to let the ship dock

Transport minister Danilo Toninelli said as the boat flew under the flag of a British territory, the UK was responsible for the migrants.

He added the rescue was co-ordinated by the Libyan coastguard and that the vessel is now in Maltese waters.

Malta has also rejected letting the ship dock.

Migrants picked up the Doctors Without Borders Sea boat the Aquarius. 141 were rescued and are now being refused permission to dock in Italy and Malta. Pic: Guglielmo Mangiapane/ SOS Mediterranee
Italy and Malta have both blocked letting the Aquarius dock

French aid groups SOS Mediterranee and Doctors Without Borders have called on other European nations to volunteer a close port so the migrants can disembark.

Most of the group are from Somalia and Eritrea and include 67 unaccompanied minors and a pregnant woman.

They are all said to be in a “stable” condition.

Sky News has contacted the UK Home Office for comment.



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