Sea vessels

MOD Will Pay For New National Flagship

Royal Yacht Britannia's successor is thought to cost £200m and will be crewed by Royal Navy personnel.

A new national flagship will be paid for out of the Ministry of Defence's (MOD) budget, Downing Street has said.

It was revealed in May that the successor to the Royal Yacht Britannia was to be crewed by Royal Navy personnel and that construction of the vessel is expected to begin in 2022.

Downing Street now says defence will also pay for the flagship, which will be used to host trade fairs, ministerial summits and diplomatic talks.

The Prime Minister's official spokesman told reporters: "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."

Boris Johnson is likely to use the new flagship for Prime Ministerial visits (Picture: Number 10 / Flickr).

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

The spokesperson said the vessel would not be classified as a 'warship', adding: "We will set out the exact detail in due course but this is a trade ship, it is not a military vessel."

The Government intends to build the ship in the UK, although the ship is part of Britain's strategy to build links and boost exports following Brexit.

Once active, the flagship is expected to last 30 years in service.

Cover image: Royal Yacht Britannia in Edinburgh in 2018 (Picture: Alamy).