Government announces bill to boost UK space sector
The Government will introduce legislation allowing satellites and scientific missions to be launched from UK spaceports for the first time.
Ministers have announced plans for three bills to boost infrastructure in tomorrow’s Queen’s Speech: one on the next phase of HS2 from the Midlands to the north west, one to encourage more people to use electric cars, and one on spaceflight technology.
The Government will lay out its legislative agenda for the next two years tomorrow, with the process of transferring European Union laws onto the UK statute book via the Great Repeal Bill expected to dominate much of the parliamentary business over that period.
But ministers have also stressed that the Government will go ahead with plans to realise the “modern industrial strategy” it launched earlier this year, including pursuing a greater role in the commercial space sector.
“The powers will allow the launch of satellites from the UK for the first time, horizontal flights to the edge of space for scientific experiments and the establishment and operation of spaceports in regions across the UK,” the Government said of the bill.
“The legislation will ensure the UK can take advantage of these new markets, overcome dependence on foreign launch services and benefit from the development of new spaceports and supply chains.”
The UK's space sector is worth an estimated £13.7bn a year to the economy already.
The HS2 bill will cover the legal powers necessary to build and run the part of the line going from the Midlands to the north.
And the Government will also legislate to make sure that drivers of electric vehicles only have to register once to use any charging points in the country, rather than the array of different processes at the moment.
Transport Secretary Chris Grayling said: “We are absolutely determined to give Britain the transport infrastructure it needs so that we can thrive and grow as we leave the European Union.
“The measures we outline this week will ensure our legal structures are ready for the high skill, highly paid jobs of the future, while backing the transport projects that will make journeys better for ordinary working people.
“It’s only by backing infrastructure through our Modern Industrial Strategy that we can spread prosperity and opportunity around the country.”
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