Via Satellite

How will UK Space Industry be Impacted by Stunning EU Result?

Editor's note for the July/August 2016 edition of Via Satellite.

I write this editor’s note on a seismic day in the United Kingdom, as the U.K. has voted to leave the European Union (UK) and Its Prime Minister David Cameron has resigned. While this is not the platform to get political, I do wonder what the ramifications will be for the U.K. space industry, which has been such a success story in recent years and had some pretty lofty ambitions to increase revenues from the industry to 40 million pounds by 2030. In light of today’s stunning political developments and given the U.K.’s prominent position in European space activities, I wonder whether these targets, which were already ambitious, can now be achieved. Certainly, the political landscape has irrevocably changed now and this will impact our industry, particular as the EU Referendum has exposed such a huge divide in what people think. My understanding from limited conversations I’ve had with people in the industry is they were more in the “Remain” camp, and this is not a surprise given the space industry is all about collaboration and people and nations working together.

One can only hope now that the U.K. space industry will continue to be a success story and that this decision will not impact its aspirations too greatly. Certainly, it is a vibrant and thriving industry, and one can only hope it will remain that way. One of the great things about the space industry is that it brings people from all different backgrounds, countries and faiths together. It really is a global industry in every sense.

However, it is not immune from changes in the political landscape. The future of the EU is also shrouded in doubt, and whether the U.K.’s decision will have a domino effect remains to be seen. There are uncertain times ahead, and it could be a bumpy ride for many in our industry too. VS