UK’s space industry will be left behind after Brexit, new report finds

   19 November 2019

Aborting Brexit would present a galaxy of opportunity for the UK space industry a new report has shown. The UK space industry will lose access to vital European space programmes in a post-Brexit world according to an in-depth report launched today by the Office of Antony Hook, Lib Dem MEP for South East England.

The report, based on independent sources, has shown the current political chaos is causing considerable damage to the UK space sector. Key findings include:

  • The UK has a highly successful and burgeoning space industry which has thrived and benefited through EU cooperation and funding.
  • The UK has made significant investments, including £1.2 billion into the Galileo project, which will be lost after Brexit.
  • After Brexit, the UK will lose access to large tranches of funding through programmes such as Horizon 2020.
  • Britain’s national security will be weakened when the government loses access to satellite technology developed in partnership with the EU, resulting in increased dependence on the US and Russia.
  • The UK space industry will be excluded from bidding for the next round of EU contracts due in 2020 that are awarded every seven years. The industry will be left at a severe disadvantage from which it may never recover.

Antony Hook said: “Brexit will effectively crash and burn the UK space industry.

“The European Union’s space projects, such as Copernicus, continue their voyage of discovery, with the potential to tackle global problems such natural disasters and climate change. The UK has been pivotal in EU space programmes, and British companies have won major contracts to design and build satellites. This will all be lost after Brexit.

“Outside the EU, the industry faces a funding black hole. If we miss out on the next round of contracts, we may find ourselves light years behind the competition – a position from which we may never recover.

“I am appalled by this Conservative government’s reckless decision to pull out of the Galileo project in which £1.2 billion of taxpayers’ money has already been invested. Leaving Galileo will put national security at risk, as the UK will be once again reliant on US GPS systems.

“We must stop Brexit so the UK space sector can continue to shoot for the stars in cooperation with our European partners”.

Read the report