Asylum: Boats

Home Office written question – answered at on 21 September 2023.

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Photo of Zarah Sultana Zarah Sultana Labour, Coventry South

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, with reference to her Department's factsheet: asylum accommodation on a vessel in Portland Port, updated on 25 August 2023, what fire safety standards she has applied to the Bibby Stockholm; and to which industry standards the factsheet refers.

Photo of Robert Jenrick Robert Jenrick The Minister for Immigration

Under Part 6 of the Immigration and Asylum Act 1999, the Home Office has a legal obligation to support asylum seekers who would otherwise be destitute.

In the Netherlands and Belgium, the authorities have delivered accommodation for asylum seekers on vessels in a safe and secure manner.

The Bibby Stockholm vessel has been used for decades to provide safe and decent accommodation to oil rig workers and was used between 1995 to 1998 to accommodate refugees in Germany.

Corporate Travel Management (CTM) are responsible for managing the services on the barge. CTM managed two Scottish vessels housing refugees and have a strong track record of providing this kind of accommodation. We are confident that it will continue to manage the vessel and its supporting services. CTM has worked closely and successfully with local authorities and other public and voluntary organisations in Scotland.

The Bibby Stockholm adheres to the Regulatory Reform Order (Fire Safety) 2005 and has an appropriate fire risk assessment that complies to those regulations including safety features such as fire doors, fire detection systems and firefighting equipment at strategic locations.

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