PM says new national flagship will promote 'best of British' around the world

A new national flagship, the successor to the Royal Yacht Britannia, will boost UK trade and industry around the world, said Boris Johnson.

The ship will be used for trade shows, ministerial summits and diplomatic talks if Britain wants to establish connections and increase exports after Brexit.

It will be the first national flagship since Britannia to be decommissioned in 1997, but the new ship will be more of a ship than a luxury yacht.

A name for the ship has not been disclosed, but the Prime Minister has been pressured by activists and Tory MPs to name it after the Duke of Edinburgh who played a role in shaping Britannia.

The government plans to build the ship in the UK at a stated cost of up to £ 200 million.

Mr Johnson said: “This new national flagship will be the first ship of its kind in the world, reflecting the UK’s burgeoning status as a large, independent maritime trading nation.

“Every aspect of the ship, from construction to the company it displays on board, will represent and promote the very best of the British – a clear and powerful symbol of our commitment to be an active player on the world stage.”

The ship’s announcement comes at the end of a troubled week for the Prime Minister, during which it was devastated by former aide Dominic Cummings, who claimed the government was responsible for tens of thousands of unnecessary deaths during the coronavirus pandemic.

He has also been faced with allegations that his previous comments on women wearing burqas contributed to the impression that the Conservative Party was “insensitive to Muslim communities.”

And the Secretary said he was “unwise” to allow his Downing Street apartment to be renovated without “paying closer attention to how it would be financed.”

Construction of the new ship is expected to begin as early as 2022 and will be put into service within the next four years.

The tendering process for the design and construction of the ship will be launched shortly, with an emphasis on showcasing UK design expertise and the latest innovations in green technology.

The ship will be manned by the Royal Navy and is expected to be in service for around 30 years.


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