§ Sir Bernard Braine
asked the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs when the application for a replacement vessel for RMS St. Helena was first made; when a decision will be taken; and if he will make a statement.
§ Mr. Raison
No application for a replacement for the RMS St. Helena has been made, although we have been aware for some time that the ship is nearing the end of her operational life. Consultants were engaged last year to advise on the options for the future of the shipping service. In the light of their report, I have agreed that detailed proposals should be prepared for a replacement vessel of roughly similar size to the existing ship.