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Dear Suella Braverman,

We, the undersigned, are writing to express deep concern about the proposal to house asylum-seekers arriving to the UK on the barge ‘Bibby Stockholm’ as of July 2023.

For many asylum-seekers arriving in the UK, the sea represents a site of significant trauma as they have been forced to cross it on one or multiple occasions. Housing asylum seekers on a sea barge - which we believe is equal to a floating prison - threatens to retraumatise a group of already vulnerable people.

As we understand it, the barge is currently being modified to increase its capacity from 220 to 500, which means people will be tightly packed into rooms with no privacy and little ability to move freely. Conservative MP Richard Drax has himself expressed concerns about unanswered questions such as how asylum seekers will be able to come and go safely through the port, what activities they will be provided with and how sufficient healthcare will be ensured.

When the Bibby Stockholm was used by the Dutch government to detain migrants in the 2000s, it is reported that one person died, and there were cases of rape and abuse onboard.

It is without question that this is an inappropriate solution - morally, ethically, and logistically - for the question of where to house asylum-seekers upon arrival to the UK.

As the refurbishment works have not yet begun, we urge you to reconsider this decision and to establish a working group consisting of MPs, housing experts, trauma experts and civil society actors to move forward on establishing an appropriate solution for asylum-seekers’ accommodation.

Yours sincerely,


  1. Reclaim The Sea C.I.C

  2. Channel Rescue

  3. The Game Plan

  4. The Worldwide Tribe

  5. Bees & Refugees

  6. Phone Credit For Refugees

  7. Anti-Raids Plymouth

  8. Refugee Legal Support (RLS)

  9. International Surf Therapy Organization

  10. Falmouth and Penryn Welcome Refugee Families

  11. Surf Therapy C.I.C

  12. Free Humanitarians

  13. Napier Friends


  1. Tigs Louis-Puttick

  2. Rebecca van der Veer

  3. Flo Gregory

  4. Ella Nevill

  5. Miyka Porcelli

  6. Pauline Fritz

  7. Laurence Louis-Puttick

  8. Kate Vogiatzis

  9. Alexandra Becker

  10. Annie Molloy

  11. Steven Martin

  12. Christian Algar

  13. Layla Mackie

  14. Marine Coullard

  15. Izzy Riley

  16. Elizabeth Moreton

  17. Stephen Moreton

  18. Amy Kenealy

  19. Bernie Moreton

  20. James Moreton

  21. Chantel Yasmin Wheatley

  22. Ben Brondesma

  23. Connor Mower

  24. Paolo Peluso

  25. Jasmine O’Hara

  26. Emily Holmes

  27. Rachel Bowen

  28. Jasmin Dorinda

  29. Martha Nash

  30. Dani Green

  31. Tom Brine

  32. Daisy Taylor

  33. Magda Cienciala

  34. Chelsey King

  35. Rebecca Annells

  36. Rebecca Seabrook

  37. Olivia Brodie-Stuart

  38. Owen Robinson

  39. Sahar Seidl

  40. Darya Laris

  41. Iona Kerr

  42. Georgia Howton

  43. George Colville

  44. Roseanna Freiburghaus

  45. Oliver Mackie

  46. Katherine Schimmel

  47. Finn Chapman

  48. Ciara Lithgow

  49. Anaëlle Ménage

  50. Ali Alzein

  51. Hondee Gongolo

  52. Mariana Vale

  53. Declan Onley

  54. Arkan Asaad Houssini

  55. Wren du Plessis

  56. Joey Swan

  57. Beck Rouse

  58. Zazie Schilke

  59. Vanessa Van Kleef

  60. Megan Lindsay

  61. Ilse de Wit

  62. Georgie Ambrose

  63. Cordelia Roberts

  64. Abigail Cooper

  65. Jenny Thompson

  66. Ellie Murphy

  67. Lize Gibson-Hall

  68. Kirsty Matthews Nicholass

  69. Eleanor Gilbert

  70. Maxime Laigasse

  71. Olivia Mantoura

  72. Fauzi Mantoura

  73. Sarah Layton

  74. Rosi Reusing

  75. Ffion Denman

  76. Ben Galvin

  77. Olivia Elwood

  78. Emelie Aichholzer

  79. Sophie Ferch

  80. Harry Scott

  81. Efi Stathopoulou

  82. Eloise Levien

  83. Phil Owen

  84. Harris King

  85. Belle Heaton

  86. Maayan Halevi

  87. Eliza Sherlock

  88. Stephanie Wells

  89. Rhea Dhingra

  90. David Starley

  91. Heather Shimmer

  92. Emily Roach Osborne

  93. Linzi Hawkin

  94. Carolina Salgueiro Pereira

  95. Kate Flanagan

  96. Michaela Robinson

  97. Linsey Walklin

  98. Ruth Cooper-Haime

  99. Maxine Canvin

  100. Tom Pugh-Jones

  101. Thomas Appleton

  102. Orla Renton

  103. Kris Primacio

  104. Anja Kurtz

  105. Olivia Cash

  106. Melaine Le Bars

  107. Adrienne Humphreys

  108. Maximilian Kratz

  109. Ellen Harrison

  110. Rachel Zanetti

  111. Katherine Kirkham

  112. Alessia Zancan

  113. Sara Bartosova

  114. Martina Burtscher

  115. Bella Biddle

  116. Dee Hall

  117. Elèna Santioli

  118. Ella Witt


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