Rule Britannia? Critics query Johnson’s flagship plans

Prime Minister Boris Johnson desires to construct a nationwide flagship to journey the world’s oceans selling British commerce and funding

LONDON — Prime Minister Boris Johnson desires to construct a nationwide flagship to journey the world’s oceans selling British commerce and funding. However critics are suggesting it’s he who’s at sea.

Johnson introduced his plans over the weekend, saying the vessel can be the primary of its form and mirror the U.Ok.’s “standing as an amazing, impartial maritime buying and selling nation.’’

“Each side of the ship, from its construct to the companies it showcases on board, will characterize and promote one of the best of British — a transparent and highly effective image of our dedication to be an lively participant on the world stage,” he stated in a press release.

Whereas Johnson didn’t put a price ticket on the flagship, British media reported it will value about 200 million kilos ($233 million).

The undertaking harkens again to a earlier golden age, the place the royal yacht projected the majesty of Empire when Britannia dominated the waves.

That’s exactly the issue, in accordance with Peter Ricketts, a retired diplomat and impartial member of the Home of Lords.

“I feel the truth that no different nation has a ship like it is because the thought is now so lengthy outdated and there are extra fashionable methods of presenting the excessive tech face of Britain to the world,” he stated Sunday throughout an interview with the BBC.

In addition to, Ricketts stated, if Britain wants a flagship it already has one — the plane provider HMS Queen Elizabeth. The three billion pound ($3.5 billion) vessel was christened in 2014.

The Unbiased, a web based publication, lampooned the proposal, accompanying its story in regards to the announcement with a video of Johnson and a visiting European Union official climbing right into a rowboat and paddling round a pond.

Johnson stated the bidding course of for the contract to construct the ship would start later this 12 months and the vessel will enter service someday within the subsequent 4 years.

The ship, which will probably be crewed by the Royal Navy, may journey to worldwide ports at the side of prime ministerial visits, present a venue for worldwide summits and host commerce gala’s, Johnson stated.

The opposition Labour social gathering advised taxpayer cash might be higher spent.

“We wish to see public cash used for focused funding in a inexperienced financial restoration, sources for our (Nationwide Well being Service) and supporting households to succeed,’’ lawmaker Bridget Phillipson stated. “If this ship goes to be a part of a real plan for Britain’s future, the federal government should set out clearly the way it will enhance commerce, jobs and progress in each nook of our nation.”

The final royal yacht, HMS Britannia, was decommissioned in 1997. It visited greater than 600 ports in 135 nations throughout its 44 years of service.

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