LONDON, July 25 (Reuters) – Britain’s decision to deploy a warship to accompany British-flagged vessels in the Middle East will provide greater safety for vital shipments, the UK’s shipping association said on Thursday.

Earlier on Thursday the government said a British warship will accompany British-flagged vessels through the Strait of Hormuz to defend freedom of navigation, a change in policy after the government previously said it did not have the military resources to do so.

“This move will provide some much needed safety and reassurance to our shipping community in this uncertain time,” Bob Sanguinetti, chief executive of the UK Chamber of Shipping trade association, said in a statement.

(Reporting by Jonathan Saul; Editing by Alison Williams)