New role in the space industry

Theresa May and Jeremy Corbyn are seen in the Central Lobby of Westminster before HM The Queen reads the speech which marks the beginning of the parliamentary session.
Theresa May and Jeremy Corbyn are seen in the Central Lobby of Westminster before HM The Queen reads the speech which marks the beginning of the parliamentary session.
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HAYES IN THE HOUSE: By MP John Hayes

Last Wednesday, Her Majesty The Queen opened the new session of Parliament, outlining the Government’s legislative plans in her speech from the throne in the Palace of Westminster.

Central to the Gracious Address were the legislative requirements for our withdrawal from the European Union.

The Great Repeal Bill will repeal the European Communities Act 1972 – which first gave effect to EU law – so converting their law into our law, for it to be repealed or amended by our Parliament.

This will be accompanied by separated Immigration, Customs, Trade, Fisheries, and Agriculture Bills, in an ambitious programme to regain – in as quick and orderly a way as possible – a framework of British law made for the people by the people whom they chose to speak for them in Westminster.

In this new session, my responsibility will be to guide transport legislation through Parliament, including Bills to protect transport users and to facilitate further innovation in vehicle technology.

I will also be leading us to the final frontier — as the Minister handling the new Space Industry Bill. There will, no doubt, be sceptics who suppose spaceflight to be fanciful, yet space applications are already an indispensable part of our daily lives.

After all, satellites connect us to the digital world, and everything from online information to navigation systems for ships, cars, trains and aircraft. Our space industry is worth more than £13.7billion to the UK economy, already employing more than 38,500 people directly and supporting more than 110,000 jobs across the wider economy.

The exploration of space, however, speaks to us on an even deeper level than such important concerns. Space travel appeals to the spirit of adventure for which, throughout our history, Britons have been famed.

The great chemist and discoverer of elements Humphrey Davy said: “Nothing is so dangerous to the progress of the human mind than to assume that our views of science are ultimate, that there are no mysteries in nature, that our triumphs are complete and that there are no new worlds to conquer.”

We must always be ambitious. Whether negotiating our new relationship with continentals, forging new agreements and alliances around the world, or contemplating more fully the magisterial beauty of the heavens — striving always to improve, to explore and to understand represents the very best of us.