Huge barge to house 500 asylum seekers in Home Office accommodation off the Dorset coast, government confirm
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The Home Office has announced that 500 asylum seekers will be housed on a barge off the coast of Dorset. This is the first time a berthed vessel will accommodate asylum seekers in the UK.
The confirmation of the barge, which is called Bibby Stockholm, follows the government announcement of last week. This was when it was confirmed surplus military sites will also be used to accommodate migrants.
The barge plan is the next step in the government’s ‘Stop The Boats’ campaign, which was ramped up by prime minister Rishi Sunak last month. It will provide basic and functional accommodation, and healthcare provision, catering facilities and 24/7 security.
People are expected to be moved onto the barge in the coming months. The Home Office also said that it is in discussions with other ports and further vessels will be announced in due course.
Immigration Minister Robert Jenrick said: “The Home Secretary and I have been clear that the use of expensive hotels to house those making unnecessary and dangerous journeys must stop. We will not elevate the interests of illegal migrants over the British people we are elected to serve.
“We have to use alternative accommodation options, as our European neighbours are doing – including the use of barges and ferries to save the British taxpayer money and to prevent the UK becoming a magnet for asylum shoppers in Europe. All accommodation will meet our legal obligations and we will work closely with the local community to address their concerns, including through financial support.”