back to article Brexit has shafted the UK's space sector, lord warns science minister

A letter to UK science minister Sam Gyimah has outlined the impact of Brexit on Britain's space sector, and it doesn't make for happy reading. The letter (PDF) by Lord Whitty follows oral evidence given to the Lords' EU Internal Market Sub-Committee on 15 March. The committee followed up the session with a jolly to the "space …

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                1. John Smith 19 Gold badge
                  Unhappy

                  And the leavers..from the rooftops..they would ensure that "this would not be the end of it"

                  And they'd already kept up their hysterical whining for 42 years they could probably do it longer.

                  Brexiteers.

                  If a child behaved that way at a restaurant I was dining at I'd be asking the parent to put a muzzle on the brat.

                  If they didn't I'd be getting out the duct tape.

                  I despise children who whine. If their adults (or worse yet corporations) I despise them more.

            1. Tigra 07 Silver badge
              Thumb Up

              Re: Lars

              A degree in Gender Studies may make you more educated but it doesn't make you smarter.

              1. Anonymous Coward
                Anonymous Coward

                Re: Lars

                "A degree in Gender Studies may make you more educated but it doesn't make you smarter."

                It depends on how it is taught and who is teaching it. If it's rote learning, even STEM subjects are pointless (see Feynman on Brazil). In my career I have been often acutely aware of the difference between people who know the formula for, say, the strength of a beam, and people who understand how to design one. If the teaching is challenging and involves getting people to think, subjects like history and even theology may provide excellent training for life - if only recognising when someone else is engaged in magical thinking or is about to make an error which in the past has had dire consequences. You don't need to be a Marxist to think that Zizek is thought provoking.

                I mention that because in the past when interviewing for positions I've formed the view that CS and similar degrees from certain universities appear worthless, whereas I once worked with a zoologist who turned out to be a whiz at computing - understanding taxonomy is a very sound basis for database work.

          1. John Smith 19 Gold badge
            Unhappy

            "I'm over 65 and most certainly did not vote to leave. "

            TBH it seemed you needed to be over 65 and gullible to fall for this bu***hit.

            Otherwise being young and stupid seemed to be a good choice as well.

            What gobsmacked me was that even people who'd worked in newspapers (and new how "news" gets made) were played like Stradivari.

            To such people D. Trump, V. Putin and R. Murdoch (all of whom supported Leave) have a little message for you.

            "Thanks, suckers. We couldn't have done it without you, especially as none of us were allowed to vote."

          2. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: all its very same golden-year grey heads that largely voted for Brexit

            My parents are over 65 and I know my mum voted to stay in the EU. I'm not sure about my dad though, he's been getting more racist in his old age, I think someone's been letting him read the daily mail.

          3. Lars Silver badge
            Happy

            Re: all its very same golden-year grey heads that largely voted for Brexit

            "I'm over 65 and most certainly did not vote to leave".

            Ah please AC, we all know that all over 65 did not vote leave, so cheer up and have a listen to this video, in it a rather young pro Brexit panel speak a fair amount of rubbish and the only one in the audience, who has had enough and stands up, is a guy your age perhaps.

            https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8J6LUmOt0O0

    1. John Smith 19 Gold badge
      Coat

      Before we get too excited. Keep in mind Canada is a member of ESA.

      It's not even on the same continent.

      1. Alan Brown Silver badge

        Re: Before we get too excited. Keep in mind Canada is a member of ESA.

        It also pays in a lot more than the UK does.

        ESA is a consortium which gives out work based on how much money gets put in by the consituent members. Of Europe's spacefaring members the UK has the lowest contributions for a long time and has also been demanding far more than it contributes for a long time.

        In many ways Brexit is an excuse to get rid of an annoying leeching partner, or at least making it pony-up what what it should be doing. The UK has built up a huge amount of resentment across Europe with its endless demands for special treatment and as such it's no surprise there's little appetite amongst european leaders to continue extending those privileges when Britain is seen to be whipping up xenophobia.

        Even if Brexit was cancelled tomorrow, the special deals would likely go away and the UK told to contribute according to its actual worth as a partner. The alternative (going it alone) has been tried before - it's rather ironic that it's the old fogeys and kippers all voted for brexit when they should be the ones remembering how bad things were before joining the EEC/EU pulled Britain out of the shitter.

      2. Alistair Thomas

        Re: Before we get too excited. Keep in mind Canada is a member of ESA.

        Don't let facts get in the way of a good story. There's no place for common sense like yours in this debate.

        Many young remoaners want to have a good rant and slag off old people who have already contributed most of their lives to provide much of the framework of support and opportunity that young folk now take for granted.

  1. This post has been deleted by its author

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Brexit has shafted the UK's space sector

      Contrary to your obviously ignorant assumptions, the UK Space industry is/WAS a very successful segment of manufacturing industry in this country.

      I assume you are also one of those ignoramuses who believes the UK has no manufacturing industry...

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Brexit has shafted the UK's space sector

      I'll just leave these here:

      https://www.director.co.uk/uk-space-industry-meet-the-leader-behind-our-fastest-growing-sector/

      https://www.adsgroup.org.uk/blog/8-world-facts-satellites/

    3. werdsmith Silver badge

      Re: Brexit has shafted the UK's space sector

      Because the "Space Sector" (tm) is so successful...

      Even India has a better space sector than the UK (though you could argue that the UK pays for some of that out of the foreign aid budget)

      Oh FFS.

    4. ZanzibarRastapopulous

      Re: Brexit has shafted the UK's space sector

      In reality Brexit has shafted every sector.

  2. ArrZarr Silver badge
    Unhappy

    The UK is the only country on Earth to develop a rocket capable of staying off Earth and then deciding that Earth really isn't so bad and giving up on the concept.

    It must me something about our weather that made space seem so unappealing.

    1. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge

      Or deciding that the high value / skills are in the payloads and the science not in re-badging ICBMs to chuck the stuff up there

      1. detritus

        Quite - this seems to be the crux of a recent admission from the Russians in relation to their competing with SpaceX's increased launch capability...

        https://arstechnica.com/science/2018/04/russia-appears-to-have-surrendered-to-spacex-in-the-global-launch-market/

        "The share of launch vehicles is as small as 4 percent of the overall market of space services," Rogozin said in an interview with a Russian television station. "The 4 percent stake isn’t worth the effort to try to elbow Musk and China aside. Payloads manufacturing is where good money can be made."

        (Is linking to Ars ok here after Mr Page's defection? :| )

      2. ArrZarr Silver badge

        Call me paranoid, I don't care. But personally I'd prefer to have at least some kind of home grown launcher instead of having to rely on others if we might be so lucky to pay them for the privilege of having our satellites in space.

        I'd also prefer to have some sort of magical home grown plane that we could use on our carriers without having to rely on others if we might be so lucky to pay them for the privilege of being able to use our carriers but that's another discussion

        1. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge

          No problem, on leaving Europe it will be possible to reposition Britain in the global launch market.

          Some areas of the Caribbean are close enough to the equator and with the necessary down-range oops ocean to make this practical, I suggest that Britain is moved there

          1. casinowilhelm

            So that's what May and Rudd have been up to - moving some british citizens to the caribbean in advance of the main party?

            1. allthecoolshortnamesweretaken

              I've been given to understand that Europeans have been an invasive species in the Carribean since 1492 or so.

              1. werdsmith Silver badge

                Maybe need to remind people that UK launched Prospero X-3 into orbit with a 1300km apogoee in 1971 aboard a British Black Arrow launcher and it's still in orbit.

        2. Roland6 Silver badge

          >I'd also prefer to have some sort of magical home grown plane that we could use on our carriers without having to rely on others if we might be so lucky to pay them for the privilege of being able to use our carriers but that's another discussion

          Well, if the carriers didn't leave port, I'm sure they would be a perfectly serviceable base for a squadron of Spitfires(*)...

          (*) To some a "magical home grown plane"...

    2. Roland6 Silver badge

      >The UK is the only country on Earth to develop a rocket capable of staying off Earth and then deciding that Earth really isn't so bad and giving up on the concept.

      This logic reminds me of Douglas Adams.

      Interestingly, it is quite clear the Infinite Improbability Drive was developed by British scientists - who else knows how to brew "a fresh cup of really hot tea"?

      Likewise, the Total Perspective Vortex, another 'British' invention - who else would have fairy cakes?

  3. Dr_N Silver badge
    Mushroom

    Don't Panic!

    This is all part of the big, secret brexit plan to take back control and make England great again.

    Just ask all the great brexit minds like John Redwood, Daniel Hannan and Nigel Farage.

    Per aspera ad astra! (Unless it all blows up on the launchpad.)

    1. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

      Re: Don't Panic!

      More likely to be per aspera ad ardua

      1. Mephistro Silver badge
        Coffee/keyboard

        Re: Don't Panic!

        ROFLMAO++

      2. Dr_N Silver badge
        Pint

        Re: Don't Panic!

        >More likely to be per aspera ad ardua

        You've come up with the perfect brexit motto.

        If they are minting any commemorative brexit coinage*, that should definitely be on it.

        Well done. Monday beer?

        *Probably a new sixpence and threepenny bit.

        1. Roland6 Silver badge

          Re: Don't Panic!

          The road to hell is paved with good intentions...

          >If they are minting any commemorative brexit coinage*

          Depends on who's minting it. But given a coin has two sides, we could have the UKIP rose tinted backward looking take on one side: per aspera ad paradisum and on the other reality: per aspera ad inferi

          >*Probably a new sixpence and threepenny bit.

          Interestingly, the reversion to 'real' money wasn't one of the things UKIP et al said they wanted to do post Brexit. However, there is no reason why we couldn't introduce a new threepenny bit and sixpence - the modern threepenny bit would be worth about the same as the 1984 one pence piece and the sixpence a 1984 two pence piece.

        2. imanidiot Silver badge
          Pint

          Re: Don't Panic!

          "Ad Astra Tabernamque" surely!

  4. Jason Bloomberg Silver badge
    IT Angle

    An insider speaks

    An ESA insider told The Register "the fact the UK is leaving shows that something is not entirely right with the EU and that the EU needs some level of reform"

    Random people are always right, absolutely right, no question about it.

    I had to check I hadn't accidentally landed at the Mail Online.

    1. detritus

      Re: An insider speaks

      How is such an innocuous statement wrong, or indeed more absolutist and polarised than your reaction to it? I hold The Guardian and the Daily Mail at about the same level in terms of oral frothing, even if they're on different sides. Picking on the DM's like shitting in a barrel full of dead fish, easy enough to do but pointless and unbecoming.

      I personally have perceived lots wrong with the EU, but I didn't Vote for Brexit and I have more than most Brits to lose by our leaving (partner, family, etc). Just because the Daily Mail wants us out, doesn't mean the EU's not without fault.

      Personally I think we sould've stayed in - can't fix something from the outside. Oh well.

      1. Dan 55 Silver badge

        Re: An insider speaks

        We don't know who it is or what are they're grinding. Both important things to know when it comes to discussing Brexit.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: An insider speaks

          "We don't know who it is or what are they're grinding"

          Fenja och Menja

          The future of this country.

      2. Pier Reviewer

        Re: An insider speaks

        “Just because the Daily Mail wants us out, doesn't mean the EU's not without fault.”

        True, but not an entirely logical statement to make. There’s no causal link there. That’s exactly how a lot of the propaganda online and in the media operates - state an apparent (although often false) axiom, then state the “fact” that must also be true as a result.

        There’s also the issue that “without fault” is a pretty high hurdle to leap. Let he who is without sin and all that malarkey.

        Leaving the EU (or whatever else) because it isn’t without fault is a little OTT. Leaving because it gives you more power/money on the other hand makes sense. Ofc for the great majority that doesn’t apply. It just happens to be that some rich white blokes who live overseas might just benefit...

      3. Adam 52 Silver badge

        Re: An insider speaks

        "I hold The Guardian and the Daily Mail at about the same level in terms of oral frothing"

        Guardian articles tend to be researched or obvious opinion pieces. They don't usually lie. Daily Mail articles tend to be propaganda disguised as news and the facts are often just plain wrong (either through poor research or deliberate lying).

        By all means compare the Guardian and Telegraph for polarised journalism, but the Mail isn't really on the same spectrum.

        "Picking on the DM's like shitting in a barrel full of dead fish, easy enough to do but pointless and unbecoming."

        There are still people who believe it's acceptable, even erudite, to read the Daily Mail in public. 4 million people read it. The more public humiliation these people suffer​ the more likely they are to change their ways. A bit like it's no longer acceptable to keep slaves, beat your wife or drink drive.

        1. werdsmith Silver badge

          Re: An insider speaks

          "By all means compare the Guardian and Telegraph for polarised journalism, but the Mail isn't really on the same spectrum."

          LOL.

          People trying to defend the Guardian is always amusing. Regardless of what research went into and journalism, bias is bias and lies are lies. Guardian and Mail are at identical levels of gutter-rag status and your personal preference or leanings don't make one better than the other.

          1. TomChaton

            Re: An insider speaks

            "...your personal preference or leanings don't make one better than the other"

            But apparently yours does.

          2. Alan Brown Silver badge

            Re: An insider speaks

            "Guardian and Mail are at identical levels of gutter-rag status"

            I take it you haven't noticed the Telegraph's taken to issuing foam-flecked rants over the last couple of years, apparently on the basis of "if you can't beat the red tops, join them"

            By comparison the Guardian is an editorially well-balanced rag, but that's not really saying much when virtually all the UK papers display obvious and heavily biased editorial policies. We all know that the Mail openly endorsed Moseley, brownshirts and that nice Mr Hitler chap. Its policies have never really changed since then, but a lot more papers have been joining it recently.

            1. John Smith 19 Gold badge
              Coat

              "We all know that the Mail openly endorsed Moseley,"

              As would its sister paper (had it existed) "Der Heil Un Sontag"

      4. NerryTutkins

        Re: An insider speaks

        While I have reservations about the general trustworthiness of Wikipedia, they have branded the Daily Heil as an unreliable source.

        And best of all, here's a link to a Guardian article about it :)

        https://www.theguardian.com/technology/2017/feb/08/wikipedia-bans-daily-mail-as-unreliable-source-for-website

        The editors described the arguments for a ban as “centred on the Daily Mail’s reputation for poor fact checking, sensationalism and flat-out fabrication”.

        Hurrah for the Blackshirts!

  5. TonyDeaf

    Actually @Lost all faith the students we train still have to pay back their earnings wherever they are on Earth. I checked up on this for my children who are being slowly sold off to the Student Loans Company as we speak.

    Here's the list the nice people have provided showing the earnings threshold at which you have to start paying ££ back to blighty for each country.

    http://www.studentloanrepayment.co.uk/portal/page?_pageid=93,6678668&_dad=portal&_schema=PORTAL

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      come and get me!

      Someone I know has a student loan, and promptly left the country with no intention to return and pay a great heap of money,

      1. NerryTutkins

        Re: come and get me!

        The law of unintended consequences, politicians really should read Freakonomics.

        Impose tuition fees to recover the costs of education (though obvious not on the politicians themselves, who all got their degrees for free), then look puzzled when the people all decide to take the education, then leave to avoid paying for it.

        So not only do they not get the money, they don't even get the trained person either.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: come and get me!

          Also, where do you think the money for tuition comes from? Debt with interest that we all have to pay eventually so you have to wonder why they just didn't keep it government covered in the first place but then you can't be educating everyone can you.

          1. Alan Brown Silver badge

            Re: come and get me!

            " Debt with interest that we all have to pay eventually "

            And then the kippers all whine about how the young people are greedy and charge so much,

    2. joeldillon

      That's nice, but how will the student loans people know if someone abroad has crossed that threshold? Unlike people living in the UK, they don't have access to foreign tax returns.

      1. Dan 55 Silver badge

        You have to keep supplying them with payslips or tax returns to show you're below the threshold. If you don't they'll start to charge your UK bank account.

        If you leave the country and burn your bridges, don't choose Australia.

        1. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

          "If you don't they'll start to charge your UK bank account."

          Can anyone spot the built-in assumption?

          1. Dan 55 Silver badge

            Landing your parents in bother and having to deal with debt and a crap credit rating if/when you come back keep most graduates in check I would have thought.

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