Truss warned EU will ‘retaliate’ against hated Brexit deal

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Since its departure from the European Union, Britain has rapidly expanded its space industry, having purchased the OneWeb satellite constellation to opening the new spaceport Cornwall later this year. While the UK was hit with some setbacks, like being removed from participating in the EU’s Galileo satellite system, space companies have told Express.co.uk the country has become an exciting place to invest in since Brexit.

Speaking to Express.co.uk, Bryan Dean, the co-founder of Dragonfly Aerospace, hailed Brexit as an opportunity for the UK and added the company is looking to set up a headquarters in Britain. 

Dragonfly is a satellite imaging systems company based in South Africa that makes optical cameras for space, along with satellites that use the technology.

His firm is looking to use satellites and satellite data to combat climate change, help industries such as agriculture flourish, and to use data to help avoid or overcome humanitarian disasters.

He noted the company is currently transitioning its business towards imaging data, and said: “There are many advantages in locating that business internationally, and we’re definitely considering locating it in the UK.

He added that as the company, they see “doing that from the UK as a much better option than doing it from South Africa in terms of where our customers are and in terms of where we believe we can work well with national governments as well.

“In terms of business obviously, we need to be scaling the business at the moment so there’s access to capital.

“Private capital in the UK is very useful to us and then in general most successful space companies see good interactions with their national government, and maintaining a good level of business with the national government is a useful foundation for building the commercial business on top of that.

“So we certainly see the UK Government as a good customer, more so than the French and German governments.”

With the upcoming opening of the new spaceport in Cornwall this year, Mr Dean noted that provided the economics of the launch are good, the spaceport could be a massive boon to Britain’s space industry. 

He added Brexit allowed the UK to look outside trading with the bloc, helping it work more closely with non EU countries like Australia and the US. 

He said: “When you look in a pre Brexit context, Europe was clearly Britain’s primary trading partner.”

He admitted that while he wasn’t supportive of Brexit when it happened, “from an economic point of view, international point of view, it marks a transition towards international bilateral collaborations and things like that.

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“I think that probably will be positive, so that’s the one side on the economic level in terms of the trade Britain does.

“From my point of view as a business owner and a UK citizen, it makes a lot of sense for us to build out a presence for Dragonfly in the UK and ultimately even possibly the dragonfly headquarters being in the UK.”

While their current base is in South Africa, Mr Dean noted that his firm launched Dragonfly UK last year and are looking to expand their presence.

In 2021, Britain’s space industry was already valued at £16.4billion, and the Government now has a goal of capturing about 10 percent of the global market, which is at $400billion (£331.3billion).

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