On Monday 7th August, 15 migrants boarded the the Bibby Stockholm, a 500 man capacity barge docked in Dorset. This is part of an ongoing initiative to cut the roughly £6 million a day spent on hotel accommodation for asylum seekers. But will it work?

An inflatable dinghy. People smugglers give migrants flimsy vessels like this to cross the channel, causing many deaths.

Firstly, the current solution of paying hotels and inns the ludicrous sum of 2 billion pounds a year to house ‘asylum seekers’, most of whom are really economic migrants, is unsustainable. It’s not fair at all to the British public who pay for it through high taxes and who are currently going through a cost of living crisis. Therefore alternative, cheaper accommodation is needed.

Secondly, as the Justice Secretary Alex Chalk stated migrants have no right to demand “four star accommodation”. The Bibby Stockholm is simple but perfectly adequate and is far from being a ‘jail’ like some ludicrously claim. All of its rooms have a bed, desk and storage. They are also all ensuite, which is better than my own flat.  Frankly, simple but decent lodging is the most one can expect when there is an ongoing housing crisis. The ones complaining the most about it are the left-wing law firms and pro illegal immigration organisations like Care4Calais who have a vested interest in a) prolonging the migrant crisis and b) making the government spend as much as possible on that sector. 

Some have complained about fire safety but the vessel has been lived in before, albeit by less people, and there are 3 exits that lead right onto the quay. 

The Bibby Stockholm is a promising start, however it can only take a maximum of 500 migrants and there are over 50,000 migrants in hotels. Other sites like the ex-military bases of Scampton and Wethersfield will only house about 3000 migrants. Clearly, these sites won’t be anywhere near enough.

So what’s to be done? For starters, the asylum backlog should be cleared so that migrants are either deported or set to work. Most are economic migrants from places that are not at war, like Iraq and Iran, and are not refugees, so should not have their asylum claims accepted. At the same time the new Illegal Migration Act should actually be enforced, and the migrants who enter the UK illegally be detained in secure sites, such as Ascension Island or even the Isle of Wight, and then deported. Only tough measures will ease pressure on our overloaded island and preserve our way of life. Just because the whole world wants to come here, doesn’t mean they can.