Science

Good Brexit deal needed to ensure space investment, expert says

The business leader was speaking as buyers from around the world prepare to attend the Farnborough International Airshow's trade event.

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Britain faces an “erosion” of investment in its space, security and defence sectors unless a good Brexit deal is struck with the EU, the head of an industry body has said.

Paul Everitt, chief executive of ADS Group, said British manufacturers’ ability to attract investment will be “diminished” if the negotiations fail.

The business leader was speaking as buyers from around the world prepare to attend the Farnborough International Airshow’s trade event.

Around £90 billion of orders and commitments are placed at the FIA, with UK companies vying for their share.

However, Mr Everitt warned that the securing of a comprehensive deal with Brussels will be key to ensure investment continues to flow to UK firms operating in sectors like space.

“If the costs of operating in the UK become higher, then our ability to attract new investment will be diminished”, he told the BBC.

“We are a long term industry. When a big investment decision comes along we are not in such a good place. If it continues we could see an erosion of our position.”

The UK’s space sector has seen growth five times greater than the wider economy over recent decades, according to Government figures.

In May, ministers announced a Prosperity from Space strategy which aims to double the “value of space” to wider industrial activities from £250 billion to £500 billion.

The Business Secretary will reportedly announce that a location has been chosen for the country’s first spaceport at the FIA.

According to the Sunday Mirror, Greg Clark will says that Sutherland on Scotland’s north coast has been earmarked for the development.

SNP MP Dr Philippa Whitford told the paper: “Launches are currently carried out from Kazakhstan.

“Easy launch access from Scotland would benefit the commercial satellite industry right across the UK.”

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