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 Full text 
Tuesday, 7 June 2016 - Strasbourg Revised edition

Space capabilities for European security and defence - Space market uptake - European space industrial policy (debate)

  Bill Etheridge, on behalf of the EFDD Group. – Mr President, the UK Government is increasing its focus on the UK space sector, and that is a good idea. The UK should use our excellent technological base to develop our space policy and to do it properly, so that the people of the UK can benefit from the innovations that undoubtedly come from this kind of research and development and also – let us be straight, if you do it right – the profits.

However, I am concerned, and I share some of the sentiments some of the other speakers have had about the EU developing its space policy in this manner, particularly when it falls under a defence remit in a certain degree. Maybe the ambitions of this place are so grand that not even this continent will suffice. Maybe the world is not enough. Maybe it needs to go into space.

But this is not what the EU should be for. It was supposed to be about trade. Now your ambitions take you into space and you have defence ideas about Star Wars. Well on that theme, fortunately for us in the UK, on 23 June we have the opportunity for Darth Juncker’s Death Star to be finished off by Nigel Skywalker and the Rebel Alliance. I will be doing my very best to make sure that the correct side wins through on that and that UK space technology is dealt with in the UK.

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