UK wants EU Copernicus participation after Brexit21/07/17Government
Business Secretary Greg Clark has confirmed that the UK wants to stay within the EU’s Copernicus Earth observation programme after Brexit.
EU member states are building an advanced satellite system for monitoring the state of the planet – with the UK playing a major role.
Clark says he wants that participation to continue.
His comments came as Airbus UK debuted the latest satellite for Copernicus, known as the Sentinel-5 Precursor.
This spacecraft is to make global maps of gases and particles in the atmosphere to track pollution and climate change. It is set to launch on a Russian rocket in September.
Clark said: “The UK-built Sentinel-5 Precursor satellite and the success of the Copernicus Programme demonstrates what we can achieve through collaboration with our European partners and the UK’s vital role in the programme thanks to our Earth observation expertise.
“We’ve been clear that we want our companies and universities to continue participating in key EU space programmes, and through our Industrial Strategy and ongoing investment in the UK space sector, we are ensuring we have the infrastructure and skills in place to support our ambition to capture 10% of the global space market by 2030.”
The government’s pre-election White Paper on Brexit stated that the UK would like to collaborate with the EU-27 on science and space beyond March 2019.
Continued participation in Copernicus will be subject to negotiation with the remaining EU nations; but key UK government departments – including the Ministry of Defence – are understood to be insistent that participation is maintained.