There may be widespread protests and a worldwide pandemic, but one former minister thinks that he knows how to “boost morale”.
It’s a yacht – the Yacht Britannia, and it costs over 100 million pounds.
Former trade minister Digby Jones (he now sits in the House of Lords as a crossbencher) suggested that bringing back the yacht would be a way to boost morale for people in the UK.
The yacht’s full title is the Royal Yacht Britannia, originally commissioned in honour of Queen Elizabeth II. It’s now a tourist attraction in Edinburgh, after being decommissioned in 1997 by the Labour government at the time.
He made these comments on the Telegraph’s Chopper podcast, saying:
We have a damn good chance in this country and a royal yacht at this moment would just be one of those good quality delivery messages.
He made the comments a few days after Mark Francois, the head of the European Research Group and a hard Brexiteer, who said that the yacht could be a symbol of the country’s new post-Brexit opportunities and freedoms. It’s worth noting that the Telegraph has been campaigning for a new Royal Yacht for four years.
Jones isn’t the only person who wants to bring back the yacht. Prime minister Boris Johnson has spoken about the yacht on several occasions, both to press and in thee House of Commons – in 2016, he suggested that bringing it back should have ranked higher on the list of Theresa May’s priorities (perhaps Johnson thinks she didn’t have much else to deal with at the time).
Boris Johnson brought up the yacht last year during hustings for the Conservative Party leadership, saying that he would ask the Queen if she wanted a ‘new Royal Yacht Britannia’ if he became Prime Minister.
On Twitter, people pointed out that a yacht was not what anyone’s asking for at the moment.
Jones has said that the cost of the should be split between businesses, taxpayers and the National Lottery, because apparently there aren’t other projects or kinds of infrastructure which need serious investment at the moment.
Jones also went on to say:
I don't care what the politically correct 'Liberal-ati' from Metropolitan Islington say, believe me, it sells around the world like very few other things.
Jones definitely has his finger on the pulse - nothing says being in touch with what ordinary people in the UK (and around the world) want like spending more than 100 million pounds on a yacht for the Queen.