EU frets naval mission off Libya could draw more migrants to sea

(Reuters) – The EU is considering sending warships to the Libyan coast to combat oil and arms smugglers but fears that could encourage more migrants to take to sea in hopes of being rescued and taken to Europe, according to an EU document seen by Reuters.

In a frank reference to EU fears that saving more lives could mean trafficking gangs put more people to sea in unsafe craft, the paper drawn up before Sunday’s mass drowning, warned of a “pull-factor risk” from a naval mission — a risk more migrants would head for Europe.

A European Commission spokeswoman declined comment. EU diplomats said any such mission was unlikely in the near future…