171 organisations have written to the Prime Minister to urge him to ‘listen to common sense’ and scrap plans for asylum camps at Wethersfield, Catterick, Bexhill and Scampton, as well as on ferries and barges.
The letter, which has been signed by national and local organisations across Britain including the Race Equality Foundation, says the sites are ‘deeply unsuitable’ and the Government risks creating ‘an entirely preventable humanitarian catastrophe’ if it presses ahead with plans to house people seeking asylum on these sites.
Immigration Minister Robert Jenrick MP announced on 29 March 2023 that long-trailed plans for camps on former military sites would go ahead. The sites identified are former RAF bases at Scampton, Lincolnshire, Wethersfield in Essex, and Catterick, North Yorkshire, and the site of a former prison in Bexhill, East Sussex. The Government has also stated its intention to use ferries and barges as accommodation.
The new sites follow the Government’s withdrawal of the plan for a site on an ex-RAF base in Linton-on-Ouse, North Yorkshire, last year, after a concerted campaign from local residents and refugee supporting organisations.
Read the full letter here.