March 10, 2019 • 1 min
Britain has not launched a rocket into space for 50 years, but it has a huge space industry. According to a government report, its share in the global space economy is 6,5%. The industry in the country is worth £13,7 billion, and it employs 39,000 people directly. Britain produces 40% of the world’s small satellites. Now the British space industry may face great problems after Brexit, the withdrawal of the United Kingdom from the European Union. Airbus, a multinational company that is the biggest satellite-maker in Britain, has announced that it will move some of its operations from Britain to France after Brexit. Problems have become more serious in Britain’s participation in the Galileo Navigation Project. This project is Europe’s equivalent of America’s GPS, the navigational system. The European Union (EU) says post-Brexit Britain should not be included in such EU projects that involve sensitive information. However, there are some reasons for hope for Britain. The space industry has little government support in Britain. So, the companies in this sector are very commercially minded. If Britain loses business in the EU, it could find new fields to operate in places like the Middle East.