New Royal Yacht Britannia

Prime Minister Boris Johnson, says work on the new flagship, which will be crewed by the Royal Navy, will start next year and is expected to enter service in four years.

The Prime Minister said work on the new flagship, which will be crewed by the Royal Navy, will start next year. The Government hopes it will be constructed at a UK shipyard.

Number 10 said the name of the new ship will be decided "in due course", although sources suggest that the intention is to call it "Prince Philip​" after the late Duke of Edinburgh.

An alternative name could be HMS Britannia, providing a clear link to the royal yacht, which was controversially decommissioned by Tony Blair's Labour Government in 1997.

Mr Johnson said: "This new national flagship will be the first vessel of its kind in the world, reflecting the UK's burgeoning status as a great, independent maritime trading nation. Every aspect of the ship, from its build to the businesses it showcases on board, will represent and promote the best of British - a clear and powerful symbol of our commitment to be an active player on the world stage."

Number 10 said "a typical six-month itinerary for the flagship might include docking at a port in a country where a British prime ministerial visit is taking place, to accommodate parallel discussions between British and local businesses, hosting trade fairs to sell British products to an emerging market and providing the venue for an international ministerial summit or major trade negotiations between the UK and another government".

The Government's confirmation of a new flagship is a significant victory for a long running campaign for a replacement for Britannia since Britain voted to leave the European Union in 2016.


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