Boris Johnson plans to invest £ 200million in new government ship | UK News
A new national flagship, the successor to the Royal Yacht Britannia, will promote British trade and industry to the world, Boris Johnson said.
The ship is said to be used to host trade fairs, ministerial summits and diplomatic talks as the UK seeks to build ties and boost exports after Brexit. It would be the first national flagship since Britannia, which was decommissioned in 1997, but the new ship would be a ship rather than a luxury yacht.
A name for the ship has not been announced, but Johnson has faced pressure from activists and Tory MPs to name it after the Duke of Edinburgh, who was instrumental in designing Britannia.
The government intends to build the ship in the UK, at an announced cost of up to £ 200million.
Johnson said: “This new national flagship will be the first such ship in the world, reflecting the UK’s nascent status as a great independent maritime trading nation.”
After a tender for the design and construction, it would start to be built as early as 2022 and it would enter service within the next four years. The ship is said to have a Royal Navy crew and is expected to be in service for around 30 years.
This isn’t the first time Johnson has expressed his enthusiasm for the project. In 2017, he told Commons that the commissioning of a new £ 100million yacht would attract ‘overwhelming support’ if private support to build it could be found.
Labor shadow chief treasury secretary Bridget Phillipson said: “Right now our country faces huge challenges and there is no indication the government has a plan for recovery.
“We want public money to be used for targeted investments in a green economic recovery, resources for our NHS and to help families succeed.
“If this ship is to be part of a real plan for Britain’s future, the government must make it clear how it will boost trade, jobs and growth in all corners of our country.
“We would like to see it built in Britain, supporting jobs and skills in the shipyards here, and really emphasizing value for money every step of the way.”