Philip Hammond was noticeably keen this afternoon to show the government isn't standing idly by while migrants drown in the Mediterranean - especially as the refugee crisis is the global story of the moment; the pictures and reports severe enough to have momentarily knocked the election campaign off a number of front pages.
Appearing on today's Daily Politics debate on international affairs, the Foreign Secretary stressed the need for a 'more formidable operation on the sea', and said that David Cameron would head to Brussels on Thursday to call for an 'enhanced operation' to prevent any further crises. Mr Hammond said:
'Of course we’ve got to support search and rescue operations in the Mediterranean. Nobody wants to see people drowning in the Mediterranean.
'A more formidable operation on the sea? Absolutely, yes… The Prime Minister will go to Brussels on Thursday ready to make a commitment of British support to the Triton operation, which is the current EU-financed operation.
'On the Mare Nostrum programme, we, along with many other EU countries expressed concerns about the way the programme was operating. The question is whether we recognise that there is a need for additional support now on the sea, and we do…The Prime Minister will go to Brussels on Thursday willing to support an enhanced operation on the Mediterranean.'