This project was to convert a former air force base in Linton-on-Ouse, a small village in Yorkshire, north of England, to accommodate 1500 people to replace the use of hotels
The UK government announced on Tuesday August 9 that it had abandoned its project for a major asylum seekers’ center at a former air force base in northern England, a key element of its plan to tackle illegal immigration.
In April, Prime Minister Boris Johnson announced a series of measures to curb illegal Channel crossings, which are on the rise: deportations of migrants to Rwanda, handing over control of the sea to the Navy and building large asylum seeker centers from those that exist in Greece . For this latest project, a former air force base in Linton-on-Ouse, a small village in Yorkshire in northern England, was to be converted to accommodate 1,500 people, replacing the resort with hotels. “I have withdrawn the offer to the Home Office to use this site,” Secretary of Defense Ben Wallace said Tuesday, explaining that he needed the sites “for something else” and assuring other sites could be used.
The project had met strong opposition from local residents, concerned about the impact of such an influx of people in a small, remote village with very little public transport. The government’s other big promise on immigration, the deportation of migrants to Rwanda, has still not been implemented as a first flight scheduled for June was canceled at the last moment after intervention by the European judiciary. However, the two candidates to succeed Boris Johnson, who resigned, both pledged to implement this project.
Since the project was announced in April, more than 13,000 migrants have made the very dangerous crossing of the English Channel on small boats, according to the PA agency tally, for a total of more than 18,000 since the beginning of the year. This points to another record year, despite promises by the Conservative UK government since Brexit.