So where to put you?


Henry Nicholls / Reuters

To solve the migration crisis, Britain is even ready to withdraw from the European Convention on Human Rights.

Robert Jenrick, Minister of State for immigration, said that the British government will do "whatever is necessary" even if it is required to withdraw from the pan-European treaty in order to achieve its goal. That is, he did not rule out Britain leaving the ECHR, including if the country's Supreme Court deems such a decision unlawful.

Many in Britain's Conservative Party, even Home Secretary Suella Braverman, a former lawyer, are in favor of such an outcome. Although it is clear that the closer the election, the stronger the rhetoric against the ECHR should be, in order to emphasize its decisive approach to the problem, which is radically different from Labour one.

A plan has already been approved to send migrants seeking asylum in England as far away as Rwanda - so they will have to wait for a decision there. The other day, Britain signed an agreement with Turkey to coordinate efforts in the fight against the gangs involved in transporting refugees to Europe.

But more importantly, what about those who have already relocated to the Kingdom?

Deputy Chairman of the Conservative Party, Lee Anderson, admits, "We are in power now and we have lost this battle. There is no doubt about it. We promised we would find a way out and we lost."

One of the panaceas invented by the government is to put migrants on a big barge, the Bibby Stockholm, moored in Portland. The thing is, they are now being kept in hotels and it costs £6 million a day - more than £2 billion a year. The first batch of 25 people was sent on a barge the other day, but 15 of them refused to leave the hotels. The Home Office then threatened to deprive them of any paid accommodation at all, with the saddest of prospects.

"We should kick these people back to France" (in the original f*** off back to France)," Lee Anderson said. The Immigration Minister responded that he "would have chosen a different vocabulary, but I agree with my colleague on the substance."

Former Chairman of the Conservative Party, Jake Berry, believes that Anderson, with his direct statement, expressed the widespread view that "Britain has a rather soft approach to asylum. France grants only a third of asylum applications, while we have as many as 77%."

"It's not an à la carte menu," says Robert Jenrick, "where people can choose the hotel or lodging they want. And we can't put them in four-star hotels."

The minister states that "the Portland barge was used to house workers on local gas and oil wells. Similar variants work in Belgium and the Netherlands. And in Scotland, Ukrainian refugees are housed on them. If these people live there without problems, why migrants cannot?"?

The Bibby Stockholm is expected to carry 506 people with a capacity of 222. The main issues raised by firefighters are too narrow corridors and few emergency exits - two for three decks. "The barge could turn into a 'floating Grenfell'," local authorities complain. (This refers to the Grenfell Tower fire in London in 2017, when 71 people, mostly from Africa, died).

The cabins-rooms are designed for 2, 4 or 6 people. Each of them has a TV, but without an antenna, so that you don't sit in front of the screens, but socialize. In a week - 9,5 pounds, canteen with dietary and vegan menu (well, in Africa are all vegans), English lessons, excursions around Dorset county, wi-fi - 1 GB per second, gym and visiting of cricket ground (it is a traditional African game). But it looks like a prison, to be honest.

This theme is also developed by countless human rights organizations advocating for migrants' rights.

"Among our clients are many people who have survived torture, modern-day slavery and have been traumatized by the conditions of the recent sea crossing. Putting them in a floating prison is inhumane," says Steve Smith, CEO of the charity Care4Calais.

The government has found more options. For example, there is Ascension Island in the ocean - they pulled out of the archives a plan to send refugees to the South Atlantic, 6,500 kilometers from Albion. Jacob Rees-Mogg was a cabinet member at the time the idea was developed and tells why it was abandoned:

"It would have cost the Treasury a million pounds per person. First we should have sent the construction huts there. Pay good money to the workers while they build the housing blocks to live in. Then to find and lure people with big salaries who would move there to run the farm for a long time."

They could be sent to two former air force bases, Wethersfield and Scampton. They even moved a trial batch of 46 people to the first one, but suddenly discovered an outbreak of tuberculosis, scabies and scurvy. Now there are no more people willing to work at the base, and 14 buildings are empty.

In any case, state structures are failing to cope with the settlement of migrants, and this is an opportunity Labour will not miss.

"The government has led us to disaster," says Shadow Home Secretary Yvette Cooper. In December, when 40,000 people were staying in hotels at our expense, Sunak promised to end the problem. Now the number has risen by 25 percent to 50,000!."