Britain will build what it calls a new “national flagship” ship to host trade events and promote its post-Brexit interests globally, Prime Minister Boris Johnson said on Saturday.
The ship will provide a global platform for high-level trade negotiations as well as products for UK companies, his office said, as the UK seeks new trade ties after leaving the European Union last year .
He will also have to play a role in the implementation of the country’s foreign and security policy, including by organizing summits and other diplomatic talks.
It will be the first so-called national flagship in service since 1997, when the Royal Yacht Britannia was decommissioned.
However, Johnson insisted that the role of the new ship will be “distinct” from that of the predecessors, “reflecting the UK’s burgeoning status as a great independent maritime trading nation.”
“Every aspect of the ship, from its construction to the businesses it presents on board, will represent and promote the best of the British – a clear and powerful symbol of our commitment to be an active player on the world stage,” he said. declared in a statement.
Construction of the ship is expected to begin in 2022 and be completed in four years, with costs confirmed through a tender, according to Johnson’s office.
The ship, which has yet to be named, will be crewed by the Royal Navy and scheduled for around 30 years of service.
The government is likely to face calls to name him Prince Philip, the late husband of Queen Elizabeth II and a former naval commander, who died in April at the age of 99.
Britain officially left the EU after nearly five decades of membership in January 2020 and left its single market and customs union earlier this year.
It has reproduced or extended existing trade deals with the bloc, Japan and several other countries, but has yet to strike an entirely new deal with any country.
London is currently in advanced talks with Australia and has had initial discussions with India, New Zealand and the United States on future pacts.
(Except for the title, this story was not edited by NDTV staff and is posted from a syndicated feed.)