MILITARY bases and barges will be used to house asylum seekers under new government plans.

One base set for use will be the RAF site in Wethersfield in the Braintree District.

Immigration minister Robert Jenrick will announce the use of two RAF sites today as he tries to reduce the £6.8 million a day the Government says it spends on hotel accommodation.

Another site to be used will be the RAF site in Scampton, Lincoln.

Braintree and Witham Times: Wethersfield site: RAF site in WethersfieldWethersfield site: RAF site in Wethersfield (Image: Newsquest)

People who arrive in the UK after making Channel crossings on small boats will be housed at the two RAF sites.

Foreign Secretary James Cleverly has criticised suggestions for the base in Essex to be used.

On social media he said: “I highlighted the remote nature of the site, the limited transport infrastructure and narrow road network and that these factors would mean the site wasn’t appropriate for asylum accommodation.”

A Government source said there is a “direction of travel” towards using ferries and barges as well but said, “nothing has been bought”.

Deputy Prime Minister Dominic Raab described barges as “one possible option”, telling Sky News that the use of hotels was acting as a “perverse incentive” to encourage crossings.

He also insisted Mr Cleverly “fully supports this policy” despite the opposition to the base in his constituency being used.

Braintree and Witham Times: Justice secretary: Deputy Prime Minister and Justice Secretary Dominic RaabJustice secretary: Deputy Prime Minister and Justice Secretary Dominic Raab (Image: PA)

He said: “We will look at the whole range of options, low-cost accommodation, ex-Army barracks and, where it’s appropriate, as has been used elsewhere in Europe, and I think in Scotland as well, vessels, if they can safely and responsibly be used.”

The Refugee Council said it was “deeply concerned” by the plans, saying the the suggested accommodation is “entirely unsuitable” to the needs of asylum seekers.

Enver Solomon, the charity’s chief executive, said: “These sites are wholly inadequate places to house vulnerable men, women and children who have come to our country in search of safety.

“We must ensure that people fleeing war, conflict and persecution can access safe, dignified, and appropriate accommodation while in the UK asylum system.

“They are also unworkable and will add yet more cost and chaos to the system.”