Defense Secretary Ben Wallace uses a national security exemption in World Trade Organization rules to ensure the $ 250million replacement for the Royal Yacht Britannia is built in Britain
Boris Johnson’s national flagship for showcasing the best of the British could end up being designed by outsiders.
Defense Secretary Ben Wallace is using a national security exemption in World Trade Organization rules to ensure the $ 250million replacement for the Royal Yacht Britannia is built in Britain.
But the contract for its design will go into international competition in two weeks.
Labor say there are better uses for the money than building a boat for PM’s overseas travel.
But they add that if this is to go ahead, Mr Wallace would also have to use the national security loophole to employ a British designer.
International Trade Secretary Emily Thornberry said: It makes no sense to follow international rules when it comes to the design of their mega-yacht, but to seek an exemption when it comes to its construction.
If the government is determined to spend a quarter of a billion pounds on a yacht rather than supporting communities, the least it has to do is ensure that every penny is spent here in the UK.
The WTO exemption rules generally apply to the construction of warships which the Defense Ministry points out that the new ship is not well equipped by the Navy.
Mr Wallace will announce which UK shipyard will be able to build the new ship in April next year.
NurPhoto / PA Images)
The ship will be used for international trade fairs and negotiations – docking in countries the Prime Minister visits so he can talk on board.
It will be the UK’s first national flagship since HMY Britannia was scrapped by Labor in 1997.
The Defense Ministry said the ship would be a tangible manifestation of British ingenuity – even if it was designed overseas.
Mr Wallace said: The Ministry of Defense will be holding an international design competition to ensure that we can source world-class design and UK companies will be encouraged to participate.
But former Labor Minister of Defense Kevan Jones said: It will be a continuing cost to the Royal Navy over the next 30 years. They are not happy with it.
The name of the new ship has yet to be decided, but the favorite is The Duke of Edinburgh in honor of Prince Philip who died in April.
Mr Johnson has decided that a luxury yacht is needed to boost UK trade after Brexit.
He said: Every aspect of the ship will represent and promote the best of the British.
Britannia has traveled over a million kilometers in her 44 years of service. It is now a tourist attraction in Edinburgh.
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