Downing Street said the ship would be a global base for British companies’ products and high-level business negotiations. The UK is looking for new commercial vehicles after an effective exit from the European Union (EU) in late 2020.
The ship will play a role in implementing the country’s foreign and security policy, especially through summit and diplomatic talks.
This is the first service since 1997 when the Royal ferry “Britannia” ceased to sail. The new ship has no name yet.
Johnson clarified that the role of the new ship would be “different” from its predecessors, “reflecting the birth of the United Kingdom as a major (again) independent maritime trade”.
“Every aspect of the ship, from its construction to the companies that promote it on board, represent and promote the best in the UK,” he said in a statement, “sending a clear and powerful signal of our commitment to remain an active player on the world stage.”
Downing Street said construction of the ship would take four years to begin in 2022, and its cost could not be reported until after the auction.