Migrants to be housed on cruise ships as Home Office considers cost-effective alternatives to hotels

Holiday parks such as Pontins and Butlin’s are also being considered

Published

Migrants crossing the channel could be returning to sea after reports suggest the Home Office are considering using disused cruise ships to house asylum seekers.

University halls, caravan and holiday parks such as Pontins and Butlin’s are also being considered as part of a bid to reduce the cost of housing migrants.

Home Secretary Suella Braverman has been under increased pressure to fix the UK’s “broken” asylum system, with the Government currently spending £6.8 million a day putting up migrants in hotels – at an average cost of £150 per person per night.

Home Secretary Suella Braverman
Home Secretary Suella Braverman

Home Office figures published in August show that spending on asylum rose to £2.1 billion in 2021-22 – the highest on record.

It comes as a sixth local authority is taking legal action to stop the Government using local hotels to house asylum seekers.

North Northamptonshire Council wants to prevent migrants being accommodated at the Royal Hotel in Kettering.

Men thought to be a migrants gesture towards members of the media at the Manston immigration short-term holding facility located at the former Defence Fire Training and Development Centre in Thanet, Kent.
Men thought to be a migrants gesture towards members of the media at the Manston immigration short-term holding facility located at the former Defence Fire Training and Development Centre in Thanet, Kent.

The authority applied to the High Court for an emergency injunction and is considering its next steps after this was dismissed.

According to The Times, government ministers are considering using disused cruise ships, university halls and holiday parks to ease pressures on hotels.

Almost 40,000 migrants have arrived in the UK after crossing the Channel so far this year. But there are yet to be any crossings in November amid bad weather, leaving the provisional total for 2022 to date at 39,913.