The European Union has drawn up plans for military strikes on people trafficking networks in Libya.
The EU is to launch a bid on Monday to secure a UN Security Council resolution for military action in Libyan waters, in the wake of the deaths of thousands of migrants making the journey across the Mediterranean.
The UK is drafting the draft resolution, with Italy likely to lead military missions, reports the Guardian.
It would include 10 EU countries, with the UK, France, Spain and Italy all participating. All 28 members states are said to support the resolution.
The draft, which Federica Mogherini, the EU's chief foreign and security policy coordinator will present to the security council in New York on Monday, will call for "use of all means to destroy the business model of the traffickers".
If passed, the mission would see military vessels, including the Royal Navy flagship HMS Bulwark, stationed in Libyan waters, and helicopter gunships deployed to "neutralise" identified trafficker's ships.
Neither the Chinese nor the Russians, where tensions with the West have escalated in the wake of the Ukraine crisis, are believed to be planning to use their vetos to block the resolution.
However Libya's ambassador to the UN Ibrahim Dabbashi opposed the EU plans, declaring that the best way to tackle the crisis was to provide the Western backed government with arms in its battle against the Islamist backed rival government, and secure control of the country.
The plans are to be discussed by EU foreign ministers next week, and put to an EU summit next month.