COMMENT: Now is the time to restore the city's name as the home of the Royal Navy

You may travel anywhere in the world, and, like as not, if you mention you come from Portsmouth, people will know it as the home of the Royal Navy.

Monday, 18th September 2017, 7:00 am
Updated Wednesday, 27th September 2017, 11:45 am

The city and the fleet are inextricably linked through centuries of history — Admiral Lord Nelson and HMS Victory saw to that at the Battle of Trafalgar, and before him Henry VIII and the Mary Rose.

A proud past one thing, but a bright future is another, and that is why The News today launches its Bring Them Here campaign, to secure Portsmouth as the home of the next generation of surface fleet warships.

It all makes perfect sense. We are the home base for the new aircraft carrier HMS Queen Elizabeth and will ultimately welcome her sister ship HMS Prince of Wales into the naval base.

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The leader of Portsmouth City Council is justified in her determination, shared by The News, not to take no for an answer.

She has already lobbied the defence secretary Sir Michael Fallon on the issue, and we have the backing of both of Portsmouth’s MPs.

Portsmouth North MP Penny Mordaunt is right when she says the government must consider the interests of all three naval bases, including Plymouth and Faslane.

True enough, but the plethora of hi-tech defence-related industries in the Portsmouth area, together with their highly-skilled workforces means Portsmouth is uniquely well-placed to be the home port for the new frigates.

Portsmouth is long overdue for a shot-in-the-arm, having weathered many storms and defence cuts, leaving the naval base a shadow of its former self. Now is the time to secure the city’s future as the home of the Royal Navy