This is Yvette Cooper, the shadow home secretary:
It’s just not good enough for Britain just to wash its hands of its responsibility to work with countries across Europe to stop more refugees drowning in the Mediterranean.
Of course, we should be doing much more to discourage people from trying a dangerous journey in the first place and cracking down on the gangs who are exploiting people’s desperation by sending them off in crowded unsafe boats, but the idea that you discourage people from coming by leaving them to drown instead is appalling and inhumane.
Home Office ministers seem to be saying that European countries should deliberately turn our backs on those whose lives and safety are at risk in order to set an example for others. That’s never been the British way. We should be working with other countries to renew efforts to stop people attempting this dangerous journey in the first place, not calling on everyone to stand aside and let men, women and children drown.