The UK Government will purchase minimum five cutting edge vessels for the Royal Navy. The first one, the British Type 31 ship will be in the water by 2023. The new Type 31 ships will build on the exporting success of the Type 26 frigates, which were designed in the UK and will soon be sailing as part of the British, Australian and Canadian navies.
- Shipbuilding industry
Overall, the Type 31 project will boost about 2,500 jobs across the UK, with different elements of the frigates being assembled and built at British shipyards. At least 150 of these jobs will be for new technical apprenticeships. The ships will be constructed exclusively in the UK.
This announcement follows the Prime Minister's plan on strengthening the British shipbuilding industry and boosting the British design and building expertise in military and commercial shipping.
Moreover, the UK is focused on supporting the UK's potential to be a world leader in commercial shipbuilding, mostly in cruise ships, ferries and yachts.
To achieve the shipbuilding plan, the Prime Minister appointed Defence Secretary Ben Wallace as Shipbuilding Tsar with the requirement to improve the UK’s shipbuilding enterprise, including with the Department for Education, BEIS and the Department for International Trade.
Also, Ben Wallace has the obligation to better gasp how education, skilled apprenticeships and graduates will achieve a sustainable, longer term skills base for British shipbuilding across the country, making the UK shipyards able to compete in the market after the Brexit.
In light of this announcement, Prime Minister Boris Johnson stated
This is an industry with a deep and visceral connection to so many parts of the UK and to the Union itself. I look forward to the restoration of British influence and excellence across the world’s oceans. I am convinced that by working together we will see a renaissance in this industry which is so much part of our island story – so let’s bring shipbuilding home.
- Royal Navy
Concerning the boost of the Royal Navy, the Government will maintain a surface fleet of at least 19 frigates and destroyers and will increase this fleet in the 2030s. The first five Type 31 frigate will boost the Navy, by replacing Type 23 frigates.
The new type frigates will conduct additional missions such as the interception and disruption of those breaching international maritime law, intelligence collection and protecting commercial shipping.
The UK aims to be a strong country after the Brexit and competitive; Although there are no-deal Brexit concerns, the BPA along with the Government, have been discussing for ways to mitigate the possible cross border problems that might arise at Ro-Ro ports in the short term, announcing plans on establishing Freeports after Brexit.