‘If you want to stop migrants crossing the Mediterranean, don’t let them set foot on land’

Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott has urged the EU to introduce tough measures to stop desperate migrants attempting to make the perilous sea voyage from North Africa to Europe.

Mr Abbott, whose conservative government introduced a military-led operation to turn back boats carrying asylum-seekers before they reach Australia, said it was the only way to stop deaths.

While Mr Abbott’s controversial policy has proved successful, with the nation going nearly 18 months with virtually no asylum-seeker boat arrivals and no reported deaths at sea, human rights advocates say it violates Australia’s international obligations. (Ed. Who gives a Flying Fxxx?)

His comments came after a fishing vessel crammed with migrants capsized off the coast of Libya in the early hours of Sunday morning, leaving up to 900 dead, and as EU foreign and interior ministers met in Luxembourg to discuss ways to stem the flood of people trying to reach Europe.