A ship for trade policy talks? This is exactly what Boris Johnson now wants to have built. It hasn’t existed since 1997. According to the British Prime Minister, the ship should also stand for something.
UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson has announced the construction of a new “national flagship” the UK will use to advance its foreign and trade interests after Brexit. High-level trade talks and political summits will take place on the ship, the construction of which is to begin next year, as Johnson said on Saturday.
For the first time since 1997, Great Britain is to receive a national flagship again. At that time the royal yacht “Britannia” was decommissioned.
The role of the new ship will, however, differ significantly from that of its predecessors, stressed Johnson. The new ship will “reflect the burgeoning status as a large, independent maritime trading nation” and be a “clear and strong symbol of our commitment to be an active player on the world stage”.
Great Britain officially left the EU in January 2020. At the beginning of this year, the United Kingdom also withdrew from the common internal market and the customs union. London is currently in talks with several countries about future trade agreements.
A name for the new ship has not yet been determined. According to Downing Street, the construction of the ship will take about five years, after which it will be in operation for about 30 years.