New £200m ‘yacht’ to promote British interests
An impression of how the new vessel may look (Pic: Downing St)
A national ‘trade’ ship that will sail the world promoting British industry is to be commissioned by the UK government.
The vessel will be a successor to the Royal Yacht Britannia, which was retired in 1997, though it will be used principally by ministers and government officials to host trade fairs and diplomatic meetings as the UK seeks to build links and boost exports following Brexit.
It is expected to be built in the UK, at a reported cost of £200m. Britannia was built on the Clyde but some Scottish nationalists are already criticising the new project which may create some tensions with the rest of the UK if the work again came north.
Nationalists who have claim it is a waste of money were denounced on social media by those highlighting the millions spent by the SNP government on ferries that have yet to be completed.
Labour said the UK government must demonstrate clearly how the new ship is expected to boost trade, jobs and growth.
The Daily Telegraph has suggested it will be named after the Duke of Edinburgh, who helped design Britannia.
Royal Yacht Britannia: major tourist attraction (pic: Terry Murden)
The tendering process for its design and construction will begin soon with an emphasis on embracing British design expertise and the latest green technology.
Downing Street said costs for the “construction and operation” of the ship would be confirmed after the tendering process concluded.
Construction is set to start as early as next year, with the ship expected to enter service within the next four years.