The House of Lords EU Internal Market Sub-Committee has written to Sam Gyimah MP, Minister of State for Universities, Science, Research and Innovation, to raise concerns about the progress of, and the Government’s commitment to UK space programmes after Brexit.
The letter highlights the UK’s outstanding experience, expertise and heritage in EU space programmes and the speed at which uncertainty has already impacted the UK space sector. The letter calls on the Government to act quickly to achieve an agreement that preserves UK access to EU space programmes.
The letter follows a roundtable discussion held by the Sub-Committee on Thursday 15 March 2018 on the impact of Brexit on the UK space sector with witnesses from academia, research facilities, professional bodies and industry.
The Sub-Committee followed up the evidence session with a highly informative visit to the ‘space cluster’ at Harwell Campus. Much of the evidence heard related to the UK’s participation in the EU’s Galileo and Copernicus programmes. The threat to UK participation and access to Galileo was felt most sharply in relation to the programme’s security aspects, specifically the Public Regulated Service (PRS), which is restricted to qualified government users—one of which would have been the Ministry of Defence.