Deidre Brock MP

Member of Parliament for Edinburgh North and Leith

Britannia should stay put in Leith as a museum piece - Brock

Deidre Brock MP dismissed Tory calls to bring the Royal Yacht Britannia back as a working ship as 'daft'.

Speaking ahead of this afternoon's parliamentary debate on the issue, Ms Brock said:-

"The Royal Yacht Britannia is a beautifully kept museum piece. The plan to bring it back as a working ship is just daft.

"The ship is a floating curiosity from a bygone era and it is staying put in Leith – not just because one of the propellers has been melted down into a statue of a Royal Yachtsman.

"By remaining at the Ocean Terminal, Britannia can actually give something back to society, bringing in money to help regenerate a poorer area, rather than leaching further from the public purse.

"Given the austerity being inflicted upon us, surely even the Tories would flinch at the idea of recommissioning a Royal Yacht.

"As benefit sanctions leave the most disadvantaged people to go hungry, as the working poor join claimants in the foodbank queues, how can anyone justify recommissioning a Royal Yacht? Which budget do they want to cut for that?

"Flashboat democracy has no place in the modern world – which has changed utterly from the day in 1997 that Britannia was decommissioned, never mind the world in which it was commissioned in the first place.

"If Tories want to see economic revival then they must act to ease austerity and properly invest in our people, our infrastructure and our public services, not throw money at baubles from a bygone era."

NOTES

• Today's Westminster Hall debate 'Reintroduction of the Royal Yacht Britannia for the purpose of international trade' was called by Conservative MP Jake Berry.

• The case for reintroduction of the vessel has support of a large number of conservatives including Michael Gove MP: http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2016/09/23/michael-gove-leads-group-of-75-conservative-mps-calling-on-there/

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Sunday, 22 September 2019

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