Barge that houses 500 asylum seekers arrives in Dorset after gov wins fight with Lords over migration bill

THE giant Bibby Stockholm barge set to house 500 illegal migrants arrived in Portland, Dorset this morning where it will dock for at least 18 months.

The vessel spent two months being refurbished in Falmouth, Cornwall and is expected to take on its first batch of migrants by the end of the month.

PATug boat Mercia pulls the Bibby Stockholm accommodation barge into Portland Port, where it is due to house illegal migrants after travelling from dry dock in Falmouth, Cornwall[/caption]

PAThe Bibby Stockholm can house up to 500 male migrants[/caption]

PAIt will include three meals a day, 24/7 security and health provisions[/caption]

It comes as the government last night pulled off a spectacular win against the House of Lords, where peers tried to water down Rishi Sunak’s Illegal Migration Bill.

After hours of voting, by just past midnight MPs had shut down every amendment tabled by meddling peers.

The flagship bill is now set to become law by Thursday.

A government source said: “We kept the majorities huge in the Commons this evening and it appears the Lords got the message.”



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The Bibby Stockholm and stop the boats bill are major parts of the PM’s plan to finally tackle illegal migration.

Under the new legislation, only under-18s and the genuinely sick will be allowed to apply for asylum in the UK.

All other small boat arrivals will be detained without bail for 28 days, before being deported to their country of origin or a safe third state.

However, plans to deport migrants to Rwanda are currently stuck in a battle with lefty lawyers in the courts.

The Bibby Stockholm will be one of the sites used to house detainees.

Only single adult males will use the site and there will be healthcare provisions, catering and 24/7 security to minimise disruption.

The massive vessel, which is costing ministers in the tens of thousands per day, should reduce the £3.5 billion currently forked out to house asylum seekers in nice hotels.

As the Bibby Stockholm arrived in Portland this morning it was met with furious protests from residents.

Locals held placards demanding the ship be docked elsewhere.

They argued public services don’t have the capacity to take on an additional 500 men.

And one woman told the BBC she feared for the safety of her kids.

Yesterday No10 fiercly defended the vessel and its location.

A spokesperson for the PM said: “It’s right for the public as a whole that we move away from a situation where £6 million a day of taxpayers’ money is going towards housing these individuals in hotels.

“That’s not a good use of money and obviously that puts unplanned pressure on local areas as well.

“We think it is better to open specific sites designed to house immigrants that come in, done in a more planned way.

“This approach will save taxpayer money compared to the money we’re spending on hotels.”

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