The ship is the successor to the Royal Yacht Britannia, which was decommissioned in 1997 and has since been anchored as a museum in Scotland. Construction of the new ship is set to begin in 2022. Trade fairs, summits and diplomatic talks will be held there, Prime Minister Boris Johnson announced Sunday evening. The name has not been chosen yet.
Johnson said the ship “will reflect Britain’s burgeoning position as a large and independent maritime trading nation.” It is “a clear and powerful symbol of our commitment to being an active player on the world stage”. The cost will be around 200 million pounds (233 million euros) and the ship will operate for about 30 years. Conservative MPs are pressing for the building to be named after Prince Philip, the recently deceased husband of Queen Elizabeth II.
Johnson has repeatedly stressed that after Brexit, the UK can now decide on its own trade policy. In addition, the government is arming the army and wants to become the leading naval power after the United States. However, important trade talks are currently faltering, for example with the United States, but also with Norway and Australia.