Britain plans to house immigrants in tents in the event of an increase in the number of arrivals

Britain plans to house immigrants in tents in the event of an increase in the number of arrivals

The British government plans to house migrants in tents to help deal with any surge of small boats crossing the Channel in the coming months, British media reported Friday.

The Home Office has bought tents capable of sheltering up to 2,000 migrants and plans to install them in desolate military sites by the end of August, according to several British media outlets.

This step comes after an increase in the number of immigrants arriving on the coast of southeast England in the summer of last year, and this sparked criticism of the government, which was considered unprepared and helpless in front of the size of the task.

But the tent plan sparked criticism among ministers, according to the British newspaper "The Times", which reported that some officials compared it to concentration camps.

The report came after a British High Court judge ruled Thursday that the government's use of hotels to house unaccompanied migrant children constituted an "unlawful" practice.

The increase in the number of immigrants arriving across the Channel led to the exhaustion of British government resources and to political disagreements over their treatment.

By December 2022, more than 160,000 people were waiting for their applications to be processed.

Meanwhile, thousands more have arrived on British shores, with more expected between August and October.

The British government is seeking to stem the flow of migrants through a new "irregular immigration" law passed last week that bans all arrivals via the Channel and other "irregular" routes from applying for asylum.

Meanwhile, British Home Secretary Soella Braverman has introduced controversial housing policies aimed at reducing the use of costly hotel rooms in an asylum system that currently spends £6m a day accommodating migrants.

And the barge "Baby Stockholm" moored at the dock of the English port of Portland on the coast of the Channel will start receiving immigrants from Tuesday, despite local discontent.

Opposition Labor MP Yvette Cooper told BBC Radio that the reports about the tents indicated the failure of the Conservative Party's policy.

"They promised that they would put an end to the chaos, but in reality they don't expect it to work," she said.

Tim Nauer-Hylton, president of Refugee Action, called the reports "astonishing".

For its part, the Ministry of the Interior said in a statement, "We were clear that the use of hotels to accommodate asylum seekers is not acceptable."

"We continue to work with the government and local authorities to look at a range of accommodation options," she added.

"The housing provided to asylum seekers on the basis of non-choice meets our legal and contractual requirements," she added.