Tag Archives: £200million

Think again, Boris! Johnson handed alternative plan for £200million Royal Yacht blueprint

The Prime Minister has insisted the new national flagship super vessel – regarded as a replacement for Royal Yacht Britannia – will enter service in four years’ time and would provide UK businesses with a new global platform. Its predecessor was decommissioned by the ruling Labour Party Government in 1997 – led by Tony Blair – but has remained a popular attraction for many tourists in Edinburgh. But Mr Johnson’s plans have come under savage attack from Stephen Payne, who has spent the past two years drawing up alternative plans for the new Royal Yacht, warning it would be too small, cost £5million a year to run and be difficult for the Royal Navy to crew.

The designer of the Queen Mary 2 liner has insisted that unlike the Prime Minister’s proposal, his own design for the Britannia would pay for itself by being a touring exhibition centre for UK businesses.

Commenting on the plans from Number 10, the expert said: “The superstructure front, akin to a 1950s Hull trawler, is great for a fair-weather ship but not such a good idea for a global voyager crossing the Atlantic, Pacific, or even rounding the tip of Africa.”

When asked whether the expensive Royal Yacht would be a suitable flagship supper vessels to represent Britain, he savagely replied: “I think it would be a very poor one.

“It would be all right for the Isle of Sark or something. I just think we could do something more ambitious.”

The designer of the Queen Mary 2 liner, which itself close £460million to build, pointed out how the proposed ship could not be regarded as a Royal Yacht.

He insisted this is because it would require an additional mast to fly the Admiralty pennant, Royal Standard and Union Flag as Britannia did.

Mr Payne said: “Britannia’s importance stemmed from her royal status. She had four suites with adjacent staff cabins and luggage storage, as well as two private lounges.

“The latest generation of royals travel with as much luggage as their forebears – the Duchess of Cambridge reportedly takes 20 cases.

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“They say they’ll use a Royal Navy crew. Isn’t there a chronic manpower shortage within the service? Will the Navy look at this new vessel not with adoring eyes but with despair as it struggles to keep frontline ships at sea?

“As for financing this ship, there’s £200million to find and I’d be surprised if the running costs weren’t £5million a year.

“I don’t believe there’s the appetite from even the most ardent royal fans to support such costs.”

Mr Payne’s plans for a Royal Yacht would see it stretch to a massive 475ft in length – 62ft longer than the original HMY Britannia.

It would encompass a two-deck, 250-seat auditorium and a self-contained royal deck, as well as an onboard pub, restaurant, TV studio, museum and souvenir shop.

The design expert’s blueprint for Britannia 2 would aim to promote British trade, tourism, youth and culture throughout the world, and would be a floating “Festival of Britain” that would effectively pay for itself as its conference hall and exhibition spaces would be hired out to businesses during port visits.

Mr Payne would like the hybrid-powered royal yacht built at Harland & Wolff shipyard in Belfast and said he sent an outline of his proposals to Downing Street – but they were lost.

This post originally appeared on Daily Express :: UK Feed

Rule, Britannia! Boris approves £200million Brexit trade flagship – ‘Powerful symbol’

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The vessel will be used to host trade fairs, ministerial summits and diplomatic talks as the UK seeks to build links and boost exports following Brexit. It will be the first national flagship since Britannia, which was decommissioned in 1997.

However, the new vessel will be a ship rather than a luxury yacht.

Boris approves £200million Brexit trade flagship

Boris Johnson said the new flagship would advance his Global Britain vision (Image: GETTY)

A name for the vessel has not been announced, although the Prime Minister is already facing pressure from campaigners and Tory MPs to call it after the Duke of Edinburgh, who played a role in designing Britannia.

The Government intends to build the ship in the UK, at a reported cost of up to £200 million.

Prince Philip, the Duke of Edinburgh

Prince Philip, the Duke of Edinburgh (Image: GETTY)

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.”

The announcement of the vessel comes at the end of a difficult week for the Prime Minister, which has seen him savaged by former chief adviser Dominic Cummings, who claimed the Government was responsible for tens of thousands of needless deaths during the coronavirus pandemic.

READ MORE: EU shooting itself in foot with project – MEP breaks cover

Royal Yacht Britannia

Royal Yacht Britannia, pictured in 1957 (Image: GETTY)

He has also faced claims that his past comments about burka-wearing women had contributed to an impression that the Conservative Party is “insensitive to Muslim communities”.

And the ministerial sleaze watchdog said he was “unwise” to allow the refurbishment of his Downing Street flat to go ahead without “more rigorous regard for how this would be funded”.

Construction of the new ship is expected to begin as soon as next year, and it will enter service within the next four years.

The tendering process for the design and construction of the vessel will launch shortly, with an emphasis on showcasing British design expertise and the latest innovations in green technology.

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Dominic Cummings

Dominic Cummings speaking to MPs on Wednesday (Image: GETTY)

Boris Johnson

Boris Johnson said the vessel would showcase the best of British (Image: GETTY)

The ship will be crewed by the Royal Navy and is expected to be in service for about 30 years.

The Global Britain strategy is set on the Government’s website.

A statement published in 2019 explained: “The UK has always taken a leading role in responding to global challenges and in making the most of opportunities for our country.

“However information and influence are dispersed and contested amongst many more actors, both state and non-state.

Brexit Express

Brexit in Express front pages (Image: Express)

“This, and the pace of change in an ever more challenging global environment, inevitably have a significant impact on how the UK government projects influence and protects its national interests.”

It added: “The shifting global context, a new relationship with Europe, and the need to deliver more with finite resources, requires us to evolve and enhance how we achieve our goals.

“We need to use government assets more cohesively and efficiently to maintain our global standing.

“Global Britain is about reinvesting in our relationships, championing the rules-based international order and demonstrating that the UK is open, outward-looking and confident on the world stage.”

Dominic Raab

Dominic Raab, the Foreign Secretary (Image: GETTY)

Speaking in the Commons last year, Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab said: “As we enter this decade of renewal, the government will engage in a thorough and careful review of the UK’s place in the world.

“We will strengthen our historic trading ties, as we leave the EU, whilst boosting UK competitiveness by tapping wider global markets.

“We want strong trade with our existing EU partners, they are important and valuable as a market for us – I don’t think that anyone doubts that.

“And we are making good progress in paving the way for our first round of future free trade agreements with the rest of the world.”

This post originally appeared on Daily Express :: UK Feed