Defence Minister, Gavin Williamson, known by some colleagues as ‘Private Pike’, not to be outdone by cabinet colleague Chris Grayling in seeing who can make the biggest laughing stock of themselves and consequently the government, said in a speech that he sees the recommissioning of defunct passenger ferries as the way ahead to bolster up Britain’s depleted military shipping stock.

And in what’s being seen as a surprise move unconfirmed reports are circulating that Seaborne, previously contracted to provide extra ferries in the event of a no Brexit deal, only to have the contract cancelled when it became crystal clear they had never undertaken such work and didn’t have any ships, may have been thrown a lifeline.

Military Analyst, Gordon Ralphs, says: ‘The word in the industry is that Mr Williamson has asked Grayling if Seaborne, seemingly now established as Tory Party retained go-to maritime experts, could scour the world’s breaking yards to see if there’s anything they can find that could be used, but so far all they have come up with is an old Isle of Wight Red Funnel vessel and strong a rumour that Philip Green might have to flog-off his yacht in the not too distant future.’

Meanwhile several ministerial colleagues have come to Williamson’s aid. One government insider who did not want to be named said: ‘Gavin has my full support in this because quite frankly every time he opens his mouth he spouts off nonsense which takes the headlines away from the catastrophic balls-up the rest of us are making of Brexit.’