Britain to build new flagship to promote trade


The Union Jack flag flies at half mast next to the London Eye after the death of Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh and husband of Queen Elizabeth, at the age of 99, in London, Great Britain, on the 15th April 2021. REUTERS / Tom Nicholson / File photo

Britain will build a new flagship to promote its business and commercial interests to the world, the government said on Saturday, in a measure it said would also boost the struggling shipbuilding industry.

Britain said the ship, once built, would host high-level trade talks and trade shows, and the cost of the project would be confirmed once manufacturing contracts were awarded.

“This new national flagship will be the first such ship in the world, reflecting the UK’s nascent status as a great independent maritime trading nation,” Prime Minister Boris Johnson said.

The government has said it will be the first national flagship since the decommissioning of the HMY (Her Majesty’s Yacht) Britannia in 1997.

A flagship for promoting world trade has long been advocated by Brexit supporters, who highlight the possibilities of new free trade deals now that Britain has left the European Union.

Critics, however, point to a disruption in trade with the EU, Britain’s largest export market, after the country left the EU’s orbit earlier this year. There was also an impact on intra-UK trade from Great Britain to Northern Ireland. Read more

The government said the name of the vessel would be announced in due course. The Sunday Telegraph announced this month that it will be named after Queen Elizabeth’s late husband, Prince Philip.

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