On Tuesday 12th September Adam asked the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy Department for an update on the work being made to ensure the UK’s continued participation in EU space projects (11:48:34 to 11:49:20):
Adam Afriyie (Windsor, Conservative): The ingenuity, expertise and experience of our UK space sector enables us to punch well above our weight and to collaborate globally in bodies such as CERN, ESA and many others that predate the EU. Does the Minister agree that we should continue fully to support the role that British companies play in both other European space agencies and the EU space programme?
Jo Johnson (Minister of State for Universities, Science, Research and Innovation): My hon. Friend has great expertise in this area, through his association with the Parliamentary Space Committee. I can reassure him, as I did a moment ago, that we are committed to continuing to collaborate closely with European countries to develop our space sector to the benefit of all those in employment in this sector in this country.
The MP for the Windsor constituency, Adam Afriyie, said:
“As a former Chair of the Parliamentary Space Committee, I am delighted that the Government continues to invest in making the UK a world leader in the space industry.
“Britain has a long and prestigious history of being at the cutting edge of technological innovation. We have some of the most prestigious universities, innovative technology companies and supportive regulatory environments in the world, so it is no surprise that only last week the Times Higher Education university rankings confirmed that the best two universities in the world were both British, as were many others in the top 100.
“Given that there were no EU universities in the top 30 it is clear that the only loser in any protectionist actions by the European Commission will be scientific discovery as a whole. I am very pleased that this Conservative Government is profoundly committed to a strong and comprehensive collaboration with the EU on science and technology and I very much hope that the EU will put aside its bitter political objectives and do what is best for space exploration and.
“Making progress in science requires more than just money: it requires skills, collaboration and the right environment to allow innovation. This Government has made strong steps to creating the right ecosystem for the space industry to deepen its roots and grow. I hope that they continue the good work investing and nurturing technologies for the future.”
1. Adam Afriyie is the Prime Minister’s Trade Envoy to Ghana.
2. He has a strong background in science, technology and innovation.
4. He was shadow Minister for Science from 2007-2010 and has a background in the information services and technology sector.
5. He is Patron of the Parliamentary Space Committee (PSC) and was Chair of the PSC between 2010 and 2015.
6. The POSTnote on ‘UK Commercial Space Activities’ can be found here.