The British Foreign Secretary, Boris Johnson, has said that the commissioning of a new Royal Yacht would “add greatly” to the soft power of the United Kingdom.
Mr Johnson made the remarks during a statement on the Spring Budget after an MP asked him on his thoughts regarding the commissioning a new Royal Yacht.
Conservative MP for Rossendale and Darwen, Jake Berry, asked the Foreign Secretary whether: “He would acknowledge that one of the ultimate ways in which we could project the soft power and prestige of Britain around the globe is to commission a new royal yacht for Her Majesty The Queen.”
He added that this could be a “floating trade mission used by industry around the globe in the interest of our nation.”
In response, Mr Johnson said: “It is my view that it would indeed add greatly to the soft power of this country.”
The Foreign Secretary did say though that taxpayers should not fund a new royal yacht if there was one to be commissioned.
He said: “The new Britannia should not be a call on the taxpayer. If it can be done privately I am sure it will attract overwhelming support.
“It is one of a number of measures that I am sure this government would be able to consider.”
Royal Yacht Britannia was Her Majesty’s personal ship and was in service from 1954 until 1997 when it was decommissioned by the government.
“It is my view that it would indeed add greatly to the soft power of this country.”
Boris Johnson, Foreign Secretary
HMY Britannia was the 83rd such vessel since King Charles II acceded to the British throne in 1660.
During her career as Royal Yacht, Britannia conveyed the Queen, other members of the Royal Family and various dignitaries on 696 foreign visits and 272 visits in British waters. In this time, Britannia steamed 1,087,623 nautical miles (2,014,278 km).