The European Space Agency
UK aerospace companies have said they are excluded from the bidding for space contracts due to the brexit vote.
Contracts for the European Galileo satellite navigation, have been particularly hard hit, Simon Henley of the Royal Aeronautical Society, said.
Aircraft manufacturer Airbus has warned that other countries were “knocking on the door” to take the UK business in the midst of the uncertainty caused by brexit.
These two observations have been made to Mps on the Committee Business .
The head of ADS, the aerospace trade body has also warned the Deputies that, if the united KINGDOM to leave the european UNION without an agreement, it would be “chaotic” in the industry.
ADS chief executive Paul Everitt said: “No deal would be the worst possible outcome, from an industrial point of view. We believe that this would be chaotic, and unnecessary for this particular sector, and a number of others.”
Mr. Henley, has said UK companies reported that they were excluded from bidding for contracts.
“If the number of members of the European Space Agency is not part of the EU, the discussions, because it is not an organ of the EU, many contracts, including Galileo, are funded by the EU.
“And it is a requirement that companies that participate and obtain funding for their contracts are part of a country of the EU, so that we are already seeing contracts being turned away from the united KINGDOM, of the industry,” he said.
Katherine Bennett, vice-president of Airbus UK, which builds the wings at Broughton in North Wales has warned that the impact of brexit meant that future investments could go outside of the united KINGDOM.
“Other countries would love to design and construction [Airbus] wings, and some already do – we actually build wings in China, and believe me, they knock on the door as a result of the situation that we find ourselves in this country,” she said.
A spokesman for the Department of Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, said: “We have clearly indicated that, given the unique nature of space programs, the EU and the UK will discuss all the options for the future of cooperation in the negotiations.”The analysis by business Correspondent Theo Leggett
People in the aerospace industry are clearly getting nervous – in large part because of the uncertainty around the form “brexit”, and on the nature of the transitional provisions.
In the current febrile political environment, it is difficult to see Paul Everitt the call of the great Britain remains in the european UNION during a transitional period to gain a lot of traction. But as he explained to the Deputies, he was laying down a marker.
His point was that the aviation and aerospace relies on a complex network of bilateral agreements with third countries, not to mention a predictable regulatory and certification regime.
Currently, the aerospace companies do not know what will happen when we leave the european UNION – and not face to face with a scenario, he suggested, would be quite disastrous.
This was not the only warning, of course – Simon Henley raised eyebrows with his suggestion that the uncertainty was already costs the UK space businesses the chance to bid for potentially lucrative contracts.
And while Airbus UK Katharine Bennett was quite measured – the company was quite large, it has been suggested, for absorbing the increase in costs – it too pulled a good shot.
His allusion to other countries “knock on the door” to build the wings in Broughton has been done gently, but it was a message of firmness.
Airbus wants to continue manufacturing in the UK, but the future of the investment could easily go elsewhere.
The message was clear: the industry needs certainty, and wants as little real change as politically possible when we finally leave the EU ‘Holding’
The space industry is worth about Â£14bn in the UK, with about 40,000 direct employees, according to the sectors of Aerospace, Defence, Security And Space (ADS) industry group.
ADS chief Mr Everitt told the Mps there had been a particularly rapid growth in the sector, thanks to the growth in the satellite market, which was due to projects such as Galileo.
In the whole of the aerospace industry, Mr. Everitt said “brexit” uncertainty was having an effect on the investment.
“We are not faced with huge new investment decisions. We have seen good and positive decisions for the UK, but they have been taken before the referendum.
“For the moment, and excuse the pun, the whole world is in a bit of a holding pattern, because they are trying to sweat their assets for as long as possible before engaging in new investments.”