Downing Street looks to have snubbed a Boris Johnson-backed campaign to recommission the royal yacht for Brexit trade talks

Mark Sands
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Her Majesty's Ship the royal yacht Brita
Britannia was decommissioned under Tony Blair's Labour government (Source: Getty)

Downing Street has snubbed a fledgling campaign to recommission the Royal Yacht Britannia for trade talks in the aftermath of the UK's Brexit vote.

This weekend the Telegraph reported that dozens of MPs were backing its call for the yacht to be brought out of retirement.

In an editorial, the paper said the yacht had brought in an estimated £3bn in commercial deals between 1991 and 1995.

However, Number 10 looks to have rejected the campaign, with a Downing Street spokesman today saying that they government was looking at a range of methods to satisfy Britain's “ambitions to be a global leader in free trade”.

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He added: “As far as I'm aware, the recommissioning of Britannia is not on the agenda for that.”

The campaign to use the yacht was reportedly being led by Conservative backbencher Jake Berry, and last week the Sun reported that foreign secretary Boris Johnson was investigating proposals.

A friend of Johnson told the paper: “Boris is certainly intrigued by the idea Jake has floated. Britannia is a great symbol of global Britain.”

Labour announced the retirement of the yacht shortly after coming to power in 1997, arguing that expenditure on Britannia could not be justified.

The yacht was finally decommissioned in December 1997 at a ceremony attended by the Queen, and currently operates as a tourist attraction in Edinburgh.