The UK Home Office will use 10 redundant cruise ships, ferries and barges to keep asylum seekers in ports across the country, the Guardian said in a report. The Home Office has ordered officials to consider “all options” to house those stuck in backlogs and is also considering housing them in former military camps and prisons.
THE Guardian said officials may have to find more hotels to keep people as they failed to find 10,000 places in military camps, disused prisons and large ships as they had earlier predicted.
The news agency report quoting people familiar with the developments says a feasibility study is being carried out by a major shipping company to see if migrants can be accommodated in redundant oil rigs, despite the rejection of the idea in 2020.
The government is caught in a difficult situation as members of the ruling party worry about the use of hotels in their constituencies to house migrants.
The government recently confirmed plans to house around 400 people in a giant barge in Dorset. The barge will house single male asylum seekers who are at the end of their asylum applications and more people are likely to arrive in the summer.
Suella Braverman, British Home Secretary, is also considering a deal for an old cruise ship with a capacity of 1,800 places to house migrants. The ship will be moored in the Mersey.
Local politicians criticized the move and called it a “floating prison”, according to the Guardian.
The Home Office is facing problems dealing with the asylum backlog with hundreds of migrants still arriving across the Channel each week as authorities focus on finding suitable vessels to accommodation for asylum seekers, and the logistics of where to moor them, the Guardian said.
The UK Home Office has been tasked with finding another 10,000 non-hotel places for the end of this year, but they have only found 5,400 places so far.
Currently, 400 hotels are being used to house 51,000 asylum seekers, at a daily cost of £6.2million.
The Home Office, in an internal report, previously warned that plans to detain people on large offshore vessels could be costly, amounting to £7million.
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