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UK firms being 'excluded' from space contracts amid Brexit uncertainty

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UK aerospace firms are reportedly being excluded from bidding for lucrative space contracts due to concerns over Brexit.

The space industry is worth about £14bn to the UK, with about 40,000 direct employees, according to the Aerospace, Defence, Security & Space (ADS) industry group, states BBC.

The President-Elect of the Royal Aeronautical Society, Simon Henley told MPs today that companies had told the body they were losing out. Contracts for the European navigation satellite system, Galileo, were being particularly affected.

MPS were taking evidence as part of an inquiry into the impact of Brexit on aerospace.

“Although membership of the European Space Agency is not part of the EU discussions because it is not an EU body, many of the contracts, including Galileo, are EU funded. And it’s a requirement that the companies that participate and get funding for their contracts are part of an EU country, so we are already seeing contracts being turned away from UK industry,” Henley said.

Paul Everitt, the head of the ADS aerospace trade body, also warned MPs that if the UK was to leave the EU without a deal, it would be ‘chaotic’ for the industry.

According to Everitt: “No deal would be the worst possible outcome, from an industry point of view. We believe that would be chaotic, and unhelpful for this particular sector, and a number of others.”

Everitt also added that UK firms which have done “extremely well” from space programmes, are “having to make decisions, or give indications, of where they’re going to reallocate that work in the event that we leave the European Union in March 2019”.




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