shark bait wrote:The cutters should be focusing on UK waters
I suspect that the use of the cutters, rather than the Rivers, is, at least in part, political. When we had Bulwark in the Med, the Italians tried to suggest that we should take everyone rescued by her as refugees in the UK, since they had effectively landed on UK sovereign territory and were thus in a safe refuge. We kept landing them in Italy, but the Italians weren't very happy and may actually have a case that everyone that Bulwark rescued was effectively "in a safe country", so they (the Italians) had a legal right to refuse to accept them as refugees. Fairly soon after, we sent the cutters, which have limited rescue capacity and would not be capable of transporting them safely back to the UK. That way, we can still claim that we are "doing something", while also ensuring that anyone rescued gets legitimately landed elsewhere.