The immigration minister has said ‘Hotel Britain’ must be ended, calling for migrants to be housed in ‘simple and functional’ spaces rather than ‘luxury’ rooms.
Robert Jenrick said a “chronic shortage of acceptable accommodation” for a “record number” of migrants has led the government to use expensive hotels, adding to the cost to taxpayers.
But, writing in The Sunday Telegraph, he suggested more basic accommodation could be considered, such as disused student accommodation, disused holiday parks or even budget cruise ships.
Mr Jenrick said: “Human decency must be accompanied by harsh common sense: illegal immigrants are not entitled to luxury hotels.
“Conditions in the UK are almost always better than in neighboring countries, which helps explain why the UK is a top destination for economic migrants on the continent ‘buying asylum’.
“‘Hotel Britain’ needs to be discontinued and replaced with simple, functional accommodation that does not create an additional pull factor.”
It comes as UK ministers come under fire for conditions at Manston detention center in Kent – at one point up to 4,000 people were being held at the site, despite it being designed to n contain only 1,600.
It also emerged that those at the facility will be vaccinated against diphtheria after 39 cases of the contagious disease were recorded among asylum seekers in England in the year to November 10.
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The number of migrants crossing the Channel into the UK is thought to have topped 40,000 this year, after dozens more arrived on Saturday.
And the mayor of Calais has been quoted in French media as saying ‘around 500 people’ have been rescued after 14 attempts to cross the English Channel in the past 24 hours.
Mr Jenrick said the UK must work closely with French officials to deter those “who try to cheat the process”.
It has been reported in recent days that a new deal with France – believed to be worth around £80million – is in its final stages.
He said: “With greater coordination between our respective security and law enforcement agencies, we can dismantle the evil criminal gangs that organize these crossings and bring greater order to both our shores and the world. North of France.”
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Mr Jenrick also said he would consider extending the controversial deportation scheme from Rwanda introduced by former Home Secretary Priti Patel.
The scheme, which sees migrants deported to the East African nation whether their asylum claims are granted or not, has yet to be used.
But Mr Jenrick said similar deals will be explored with other countries, adding that those traveling from “safe” countries should not see small boats as “a path to a life here”.