After allowing their island to be overrun by mass migration, the supposedly conservative British government, now led by Rishi Sunak, is trying hard to find a way to deal with the situation – both in terms of public safety and also in terms of financial impact on its society of housing these people – that rose to 7 million pouds per day.
Let’s be honest: once it’s established that you’ll give migrants nice free hotels, food and welfare checks – the whole world will flock to your doorstep.
So the new measures the government is trying to implement are purposefully harsher than the previous ones.
But where is the limit? Where does it becomes an infringement of people’s human rights? The discussion has inflamed the country.
One of the not-so-successful solutions is using the Barge Bibby Stockholm as a cost-saving housing for people awaiting to have their asylum claims checked.
A lot has gone wrong so far, and it seems to be getting worse.
A 23-year-old Nigerian man tried to kill himself in an Essex hotel car park upon hearing that he was due to be transferred on to the Bibby Stockholm barge.
He was airlifted to hospital and placed on life support.
The Guardian reported:
“The charity […] said the man had returned to his hotel, which the Home Office uses to accommodate asylum seekers, at about 6pm. He saw that his hotel room number had been written on a whiteboard in the hotel reception as one of a number due to transfer to the barge on Tuesday. After seeing that he was on the list the man went outside and tried to kill himself. He was found alive but in a bad state by an asylum seeker who heard the man in a state of distress.”
The unnamed migrant from Nigeria was taken by air ambulance to Colchester general hospital, where he is in serious condition.
“Asylum seekers placed on the barge in August warned that conditions onboard the Bibby Stockholm had driven one person to attempt suicide before everyone was evacuated due to the discovery of Legionella bacteria. A small cohort of asylum seekers returned to the barge on 19 October, amid protests by local campaigners and Just Stop Oil.”
The asylum seekers, staff and security guards at the hotel are all reportedly extremely distressed by the incident.
“A Home Office spokesperson said: “The health and welfare of asylum seekers remains the utmost priority. We work continually to ensure the needs and vulnerabilities of those residing in asylum accommodation are identified and considered, including those related to mental health and trauma’.
‘Residents are provided with ample support to understand any changes in accommodation, including access to staff and mental health support’.”
The barge of discord is harbored in one of the UK’s poorest coastal communities. With 222 rooms, the three-storey boat was chartered by the UK government for 18 months.
“Critics say the barge, which has a capacity for 504 people, is potentially a fire hazard and treats residents as though they are in prison.
And activists and the barge residents aren’t the only ones unhappy with the arrangement- the Portland locals are also unhappy that migrants are being moved back.”
Locals of Portland think the situation is ‘morally wrong’.
“’It doesn’t make any sense to me’, said local resident Stuart Harkness. ‘I don’t think it makes any sense to most people who really have any kind heart for other human beings’.
‘I think most people are afraid of the demographic which is single men – that’s really it‘, fellow Portland resident Harry Keenen told Euronews.”
The UK’s Home Office said the use of vessels is “a tried and tested approach” to housing asylum-seekers around Europe.
Prime Minister Rishi Sunak has made ‘stopping the boats’ a priority ahead of an election expected next year, in which his government has been trailing badly in most opinion polls.
His proposal of sending asylum seekers to Rwanda, as a way to discourage people from making the journey, is stalled in the courts.
Read more about the barge: