Space: EU Action

Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy written question – answered on 5th March 2019.

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Photo of Chi Onwurah Chi Onwurah Shadow Minister (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy) (Industrial Strategy)

To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what assessment he has made of the effect of reduced participation in EU Space programmes on the (a) maintenance levels of (i) experience and (ii) skills in the UK’s space Industrial base and (b) the capacity to deliver future National Space Programmes including GNSS.

Photo of Chris Skidmore Chris Skidmore Vice-Chair, Conservative Party, Minister of State (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy) (Universities and Science) (Joint with the Department for Education)

The UK space sector is one of the fastest growing areas of the UK economy and, as a world leader in satellite and secure software technology, the UK space industry creates high-skilled jobs across the UK.

As the recently published ‘Size and Health of the UK Space Industry’ report highlights, the UK space sector is worth an estimated £14.8 billion. It employs 41,900 people and contributes £5.7 billion to UK GDP. Income dependent on EU space programmes represents a relatively small proportion (2.5%) of the total income for the sector. As the UK’s withdraws from the European Union (EU), it is important that the UK continues to champion the sector, including supporting opportunities for exports and strengthening the UK’s active role in the European Space Agency (ESA). ESA is a non-EU intergovernmental organisation and is a world leader in the exploration of space.

The UK has the skills, expertise and commitment to deliver future National space programmes, including a possible UK GNSS, and this programme represents a significant opportunity for the UK in line with the Government’s modern Industrial Strategy. This will help to ensure important skills and knowledge are retained within the UK and that the UK’s successful space sector continues to thrive.

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