Ports reject UK intends to accommodate asylum seekers on cruise ships

UK media reports that attempts by the UK government to house asylum seekers on two cruise ships have failed because regional port authorities won’t allow them to dock.

The UK administration of Prime Minister Rishi Sunak made the announcement in March that it intended to rent a barge for migrant housing as part of a well-publicized strategy to reduce the standard of living for undocumented residents. Two cruise ships, which would be anchored at important ports and serve as temporary homes for roughly 1,000 immigrants, were added to the proposal in June.

Hotel rooms for 50,000 migrants waiting for asylum proceedings cost the UK roughly $7.5 million per day, and the high cost for non-citizens has sparked controversy. Vessels have been suggested by the government as a means to reduce costs and spread the burden of migration over more localities. It has been done before in the UK and is a common practice in the EU to utilize vessels to house migrants.

The Sunak administration’s proposal is now in its initial stages. Despite objections from locals and human rights organizations, the accommodations barge Bibby Stockholm landed on Tuesday at the port of Portland, where it will accept 500 asylum seekers. The government has stressed its attempts to minimize influence on the local population. Over the course of the next few months, the barge will take on its complement of single adult male passengers.

According to a spokesman for the prime minister, “We believe it is preferable to open specific sites designed to house immigrants that come in.” We want to accomplish both of those goals with the Bibby Stockholm and in other regions of the nation.

The housing idea based on cruise ships has had little success. According to Sky News, the UK government was unable to locate a port willing to receive the two hired vessels, thus they were both returned to their owners. The apparent cancellation was not disputed by a spokesperson for the prime minister, who instead stressed ongoing efforts to identify additional lodging sites of all kinds.

The Sunak administration intends to discourage cross-Channel migration in the long run by making it more difficult to apply for asylum. A government-backed plan that would have made it illegal for migrants to seek asylum by boat cleared the House of Lords on Tuesday, paving the door for the government to deport newcomers more quickly.

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