The UK will do much more in space navigation and travel after leaving the EU, said Stephen Barclay. The former Brexit secretary told the independent think tank Dali whether the government plans to increase interest in the UK space industry after investing in satellite firm OneWeb. It is said to be an attempt to compete with the EU’s global satellite navigation system, Galileo, which became operational in 2016.
Mr Barclay told the audience: “A broader approach to space meets two different goals.
“You got an element of industrial strategy through Alok Sharma and
“Then you also got an integrated overview in terms of how it fits into our defense capabilities, where space is part of that.
“I think the direction of the journey is definitely on the way.”;
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He added: “We are investing £ 22bn in our R&D. This is a large increase and there is a very strong emphasis on it.
“Obviously, there is a link between R & D and our commitment to space.
“I would expect to do more in a wider area.
“But obviously the individual schemes also need to look at their notes.”
However, Ian Werner, boss of the European Space Agency (ESA), described Britain’s plans to develop rival Galileo as a “bad idea”.
He told Express.co.uk: “I don’t like Brexit to be very stupid.
“I do not like it because it is artificial that we do.
“There may be some effects, for example, through the Galileo program, which is implemented through ESA, or the Copernicus program.
“We will do our best to reduce all the impact as much as possible from our point of view.”