Much has been written about the decision by Cunard to no longer register ships in the UK, and to have them registered (like many other lines) in tax havens and where rules and regulations are different
The excellent LateCruiseNews.com covered the news as follows:
After a month of public speculation, Cunard Line announced that it would transfer all three of its Queens to the Bermudian register. That the first ship is being transferred was immediately transferred (Queen Elizabeth), however, was unexpected. Behind the move, many suspect that the official reason for this, being able to offer weddings at sea, is just a cover to help Cunard to remove its ships from under the mess that is the UK’s Equality Act 2010, legislation from the last Labour government that came into effect this summer.
The new Equality Act will adversely affect UK shipping by doing away with differential pay, whereby foreign nationals hired from abroad have been paid less than UK nationals. The fact that two ships are changing registry immediately – the Queen Elizabeth today and the Queen Victoria on Thursday, with the Queen Mary 2 to follow in five weeks – leads to this suspicion, especially as no weddings will be on offer before April 2012, and details of these packages will not even be announced until November.