The Prime Minister said the vessel would represent “a clear and powerful symbol” of Britain’s determination to play an active role in the international area. Tory MPs including Craig Mackinlay are already pushing for it be named in honour of Prince Philip, who died last month at the age of 99.
The Duke, who had a long and distinguished naval career, was also involved in the design of Britannia, which was officially decommissioned in 1997.
However, insiders have suggested Buckingham Palace is far from sold on the idea, believing the massive ship would be “too grand” a symbol to be used by the monarchy.
One senior Royal source said: “It is not something we have asked for.”
Earlier this month, Mr Mackinlay said: “A new national flagship proudly bearing the name of Prince Philip can be no better memorial to this much-loved and respected man.
“I am delighted that the years of effort to prove to ministers the value of such a vessel to our country’s global brand is now on the brink of becoming reality.
“My latest joint letter signed by fellow MPs and peers may have helped get this project over the line. I am overjoyed.”
Announcing the project, Mr Johnson, who this weekend married his fiancee Carrie Symonds, said: “This new national flagship will be the first vessel of its kind in the world, reflecting the UK’s burgeoning status as a great, independent maritime trading nation.
“Every aspect of the ship, from its build to the businesses it showcases on board, will represent and promote the best of British – a clear and powerful symbol of our commitment to be an active player on the world stage.”
Construction of the new ship is expected to begin as soon as 2022 and it will enter service within the next four years.
The tendering process for the design and construction of the vessel will launch shortly, with an emphasis on showcasing British design expertise and the latest innovations in green technology.
The ship will be crewed by the Royal Navy and is expected to be in service for around 30 years.
Shadow Treasury chief secretary Bridget Phillipson said: “Right now our country faces huge challenges, and there’s no sign the government has a plan for the recovery.
“We want to see public money used for targeted investment in a green economic recovery, resources for our NHS, and supporting families to succeed.
She added: “If this ship is going to be part of a genuine plan for Britain’s future, the government must set out clearly how it will boost trade, jobs and growth in every corner of our country.
“We’d want to see it built in Britain, supporting jobs and skills in shipyards here, and with a real focus on value for money at every stage.”