New royal yacht: Successor to Royal Yacht Britannia to paid for out of Ministry of Defence’s budget

Boris Johnson’s plans for a new national flagship to replace the Royal Yacht Britannia will be paid for out of the Ministry of Defence’s budget, Downing Street said.

The Prime Minister’s official spokesman told reporters on Monday: “This new national flagship will boost British trade and drive investment into the economy.

“The procurement process, which is being done through the MoD, will reflect its wide-ranging use and so it will be funded through the MoD, as set out previously.”

Sign up to our daily newsletter

The i newsletter cut through the noise

Read More

Read More
New UK flagship: Successor to Royal Yacht Britannia to promote Britain around th...

The No 10 spokesman declined to comment on how the MoD could afford a yacht costing a reported £200 million, given its own equipment budget blackhole of £17 billion.

Pressed on reports the vessel could be classified as a “warship” and could have guns attached, Boris Johnson’s spokesman said: “We will set out the exact detail in due course but this is a trade ship, it is not a military vessel.”

Asked whether that meant it would not be a warship, he replied: “That’s correct.”

Earlier this month, Mr Johnson said the new vessel will promote British trade and industry around the world, Boris Johnson has said.

An artist's impression of a new national flagship, the successor to the Royal Yacht Britannia.

It will be used to host trade fairs, ministerial summits and diplomatic talks as the UK seeks to build links and boost exports following Brexit.

It will be the first national flagship since Britannia, which was decommissioned in 1997 and is now berthed on Edinburgh’s Leith waterfront, but the new vessel will be a ship rather than a luxury yacht.

A name for the vessel has not been announced, but the Prime Minister has faced pressure from campaigners and Tory MPs to name it after the Duke of Edinburgh.

A message from the Editor:

Thank you for reading this article. We're more reliant on your support than ever as the shift in consumer habits brought about by coronavirus impacts our advertisers.

If you haven't already, please consider supporting our trusted, fact-checked journalism by taking out a digital subscription.


Want to join the conversation? Please or to comment on this article.