Barry Gardiner MP, Shadow Secretary of State for International Trade, Europe, Energy and Climate Change, responding to suggestions that the government is considering bringing the HMY Britannia into government service, said:
"This is precisely the sort of innovative forward-looking approach to presenting a modern high-tech Britain abroad that one could only imagine coming from Captain Boris and First Mate Fox"
"The government might find it difficult to present a robust case proving that the scheme is cost effective and represents good value for British taxpayers or British business.
"The face of Britain that Government needs to present to the world is of a dynamic low-carbon economy where inventors and innovators are forging new business models and trading opportunities. The proposal to bring back the Royal yacht suggests a rather more outdated image straight out of an old grammar school text book about Empire and the Colonies. It is difficult to imagine anything more calculated to project precisely the wrong image of who we are in the 21st Century."