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First group of migrants moved onto controversial housing barge in the UK

The first group of migrants board the Bibby Stockholm.
The first group of migrants board the Bibby Stockholm. Copyright James Manning/PA
Copyright James Manning/PA
By Euronews with AP
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The first group of UK asylum-seekers has been moved onto a giant housing barge on the south coast of England as the government aims to cut the cost of sheltering migrants wanting to settle in the country.

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The Swedish company-owned Bibby Stockholm is moored at Portland Port in Dorset where the migrants were met by a small group who were protesting against the government plan.

They welcomed the migrants but said they want a different approach from the government. 

"The way that the government has been running their asylum policy is set up to target these people and to scapegoat them and I think, you know, that, that starts from the top. We should be sending a welcome message locally, but nationally as well," explained one of the protesters. 

The British government wants to use barges and former military bases to house some migrants as the cost of housing them in hotels soars.

Home Office Minister Sarah Dines told the BBC that people arriving in the UK via unauthorised means should have “basic but proper accommodation” and that they “can’t expect to stay in a four-star hotel.”

Opposition MPs and migrants' rights activists say the core of the problem is the lack of legal options for migrants seeking asylum as illegal crossings of the English Channel continue to rise.

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