Politics

Army barracks used to house migrants will stay open for another FOUR years

CONTROVERSIAL army barracks ruled “unsafe” by the High Court will be used to house migrants for another four years. 

Ministers have defied judges and are set to ink a new deal to keep the Channel crossing migrants at Napier Barracks until 2025. 

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Napier Barracks in FolkstoneCredit: PA
Cops were called to disturbances at the base last January

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Cops were called to disturbances at the base last JanuaryCredit: PA

The base, in Folkstone, Kent were ruled to be “squalid” and “unsafe” by judges earlier this year after a Covid outbreak, but insiders say the new deal has only been signed off following improvements to make it “safe and secure.”

Migrants arriving on English beaches have been housed at the camp since September last year, and The Sun understands that will continue for years to come.

One source said: “We don’t want people staying in hotels when we’ve got perfectly good military barracks to house arrivals.

“They were good enough for our brave boys, and they’re good enough for them.”

They added: “It’s certainly better than a camp in Calais.”

Home Office insiders said the decision was made before the crisis in Afghanistan, and that the barracks will not use used to house people escaping the Taliban.

Arrivals on small boats will however be placed in the facilities, regardless of their country of origin.

Over 11,000 people have successfully crossed the Channel this year with councils struggling to find places for them to live.

Many are in hotels or temporary accommodation.

However Dover MP Natalie Elphicke slammed the Home Office for making long term plans to house the migrants.

She told The Sun: “This sends entirely the wrong message.

“All efforts should be made on bringing the small boats crisis to an end, not accepting it will continue for many years to come.

“No-one should be put anywhere near Dover, as it risks creating another migrant magnet.”

In June judges ruled that the accommodation was unsuitable during Covid because of migrants slept in dormitories.

Residents started a riot back in January at the former military camp after some were relocated when they tested positive for the virus – leading to others demanding to be moved out too.

Around 200 residents caught the deadly bug after an outbreak at the start of the year and seven have attempted suicide during their time at the Barracks, which can house around 400 people.

A spokesman for the Home Office declined to comment.



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