UK to send warship to take part in second phase of EU naval operation

The UK government will send a Royal Navy frigate to take part in the second phase of an EU blockaded-style naval operation aimed at boarding, seizing and diverting refugee boats in the Mediterranean.

Ministry of Defence said the warship HMS Richmond is set to take part in a European Union Naval operation off the coast of Libya aimed at ending the people smuggling trade across the Mediterranean.

Last week, foreign ministers of UK and other EU countries gave their informal approval to the plan at meetings in Brussels. The approval came after the Italian admiral in charge of the naval force told them that 16 boats used by the smugglers could have been seized or destroyed in recent weeks if the second phase of the operation had been in force.

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