Prime Minister Rishi Sunak has averred that his United Kingdom-led government will house more asylum seekers on barges.
According to the PM, two extra barges will house about 1,000 migrants, alongside one that’s set to be docked in Portland in southern England within the next two weeks.
The nation’s leader stated that the move aims to save millions in taxpayers’ money currently spent to house asylum seekers in hotels across the country.
Delineating on his remark, Sunak said that, compared to the same time last year, the number of people making the dangerous sea crossing on small vessels from northern France to the southern English coast so far this year has decreased by a fifth.
In his words, Sunak believes that the UK was doing better than other countries in Europe, where he said unauthorised migrant crossings have increased by a third over the same period.
NCNC gathered that figures from the Home Office show that about 7,600 people were detected crossing the English Channel so far this year, compared with almost 10,000 last June.
But, it is difficult to tell whether the decrease was linked to Sunak’s government’s policies or other factors such as weather conditions. The summer months typically see much higher numbers making the journey.
The PM also noted that the number of Albanian migrants arriving by small boats has fallen by almost 90%, and that a deal with Albania has seen 1,800 asylum-seekers turned back.
Records have it that many of the asylum-seekers arriving in the UK each year hail from conflict zones, including Afghanistan and Syria, though a large number come from Albania, which Sunak’s government describes as a “safe” country.
In his reaction, opposition Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer accused the government of promoting a “policy that doesn’t work” which is “costing a fortune for the taxpayer”.
Meanwhile, Sunak has made “Stop the Boats” one of his flagship policies since he took office in October. Reports have it that the PM’s government is pushing through a controversial migration bill that seeks to dramatically curb migrants’ ability to seek asylum in the UK.
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