No one can fail to be affected by the absolute desperate plight of people in the Caribbean who have been hit by Hurricane Irma. My thoughts and prayers are with all of those affected, particularly with the British nationals in our Overseas Territories of Anguilla and the British Virgin Islands.
This has been devastating. It’s the most powerful storm to hit the Atlantic, it’s brought devastation in its wake. It’s destroyed buildings and infrastructure, but it’s had such an impact on people’s lives because people have seen their livelihoods completely destroyed, and of course some people are missing, and some will have lost loved ones.
We have taken action, we have moved swiftly. We have people on the ground, £32 million has been released. The Royal Fleet Auxiliary ship RFA Mounts Bay is in position, providing assistance from Royal Marines and Army Engineers and a military task group is on its way on HMS Ocean with several hundred UK troops. Of course we will continue to look at what is needed, and we will provide what is necessary.
We must not forget that there is a further storm on the way, and that the Turks and Caicos Islands still lie in the path of Hurricane Irma. But that won’t stop us from providing the assistance that is needed, and doing everything we can to help.