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House of Commons Hansard
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Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy
23 July 2018
Volume 645

Space Policy

The following is an extract from the oral statement on Space Policy on 18 July 2018.

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I congratulate my hon. Friend on this extremely welcome statement. As a fellow Surrey MP, he will be only too aware of the importance of the space industry to our county and of the astonishing success of the work in our county for the country. Will he confirm that if the EU remains determined on this astonishing act of self-harm as regards the development of the Galileo project, it will have to bear the long-term costs of the loss of all the British enterprise and expertise in this area, and that we will be free of the immensely bureaucratic allocation of jobs under this European programme, as is reflected in European defence and other space programmes as well? Once we are free to put our expertise within the international alliances where we can get the best possible return on our scientific expertise, so much the better, and in the long term it will be our 27 partners who bear the cost of this astonishing decision.

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My hon. Friend is absolutely right. Were the UK not to continue to participate in the Galileo programme, not only would the programme be delayed but it would cost EU member states a lot more. Surrey Satellite Technology has been responsible for the cryptography and encryption of the Galileo system, and CGI UK, which has a presence in Surrey, has been responsible for building a number of the satellites. So the expertise and skills necessary to deliver the Galileo system reside in the UK, and were the EU to adopt what I consider to be an irrational position and not allow the UK to fully participate, we would not only take the action we need to take to protect critical national infrastructure, but we would also be at liberty to partner with other countries around the world, not only to develop our own global navigation and satellite system but to develop our space sector.

[Official Report, 18 July 2018, Vol. 645, c. 444.]

Letter of correction from Sam Gyimah:

An error has been identified in my response to my hon. Friend the Member for Reigate (Crispin Blunt).

The correct response should have been:

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My hon. Friend is absolutely right. Were the UK not to continue to participate in the Galileo programme, not only would the programme be delayed but it would cost EU member states a lot more. CGI UK has been responsible for the cryptography and encryption of the Galileo system, and Surrey Satellite Technology, which has a presence in Surrey, has been responsible for building a number of the satellites. So the expertise and skills necessary to deliver the Galileo system reside in the UK, and were the EU to adopt what I consider to be an irrational position and not allow the UK to fully participate, we would not only take the action we need to take to protect critical national infrastructure, but we would also be at liberty to partner with other countries around the world, not only to develop our own global navigation and satellite system but to develop our space sector.