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new plan for 'Royal Yacht Britannia'

A mocked up image of what the new flagship might look like has been released

A new national flagship is to be commissioned by the government in a bid to boost British trade and industry globally, the prime minister has said.

The vessel will be the successor to the Royal Yacht Britannia, which was retired in 1997.

The government plans to build the ship in the UK, at a reported cost of £200m.

Labour said the government must demonstrate clearly how the ship is expected to boost trade, jobs and growth.

The name of the new flagship has yet to be announced, but the Daily Telegraph has suggested the ship will be named after the Duke of Edinburgh, who helped design Britannia.

The new vessel would be used to promote British interests around the world - including hosting trade fairs and diplomatic meetings - as the UK seeks to build links and boost exports following Brexit.

The tendering process for its design and construction will begin soon - with an emphasis on utilising British design expertise and the latest green technology.

Downing Street said costs for the "construction and operation" of the ship would be confirmed after the tendering process concluded.

Construction is set to start as early as next year, with the ship expected to enter service within the next four years.

The vessel, which is set to be in service for about 30 years, will be part of the Royal Navy and crewed by it.