MPs slam asylum seeker ‘prison ship’ housing plans for Wirral Waters

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“Government policy is now being driven by a sense of wanton cruelty”

Wirral MPs have condemned plans to house 1,800 refugees on a ship in the vicinity of the Wirral Waters regeneration project in Birkenhead.

The Home Office first informed Wirral Council that the area was being considered as a location to house refugees on Friday (14 April), according to the Liverpool Echo, and MPs have slammed ministers for failing to consult with the council.

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In a joint statement, Labour MPs Mick Whitley, Angela Eagle and Margaret Greenwood said the plan would leave refugees “stranded on what amounts to a prison ship” because of inadequate transport links and lack of access to local services.

What they’re saying: “We owe a duty of care towards those who come to the UK fleeing conflict and persecution. Instead, this government is abandoning its responsibilities to ensure the safety and wellbeing of people claiming asylum in the UK. Government policy is now being driven by a sense of wanton cruelty without any intention of trying to secure positive outcomes for those involved.”

Will it happen? Peel Ports, which owns the Wirral Waters development, said it will only go ahead with the plans with full support from the council.

A similar plan to house asylum seekers in Southport Pontins was shelved by the Home Office in February after objections about access and impact on tourism were raised by Sefton Council.

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