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Sir Edward LeighMain Page: Sir Edward Leigh (Conservative) - Gainsborough)
(4 months, 3 weeks ago)Commons Chamber
My hon. Friend is absolutely right. The growing UK space sector employs 42,000 people and contributes £300 billion to the wider UK economy by providing satellite services on which many industries rely. The UK Space Agency continues to investigate the requirements, design specifications and cost of a UK GNSS capability, and it is working closely with the Ministry of Defence to support activities under the Skynet contract. We are working hard to develop a UK space strategy to generate further economic growth across the country.
The Government are doing everything at their disposal to support businesses through the crisis and beyond. The Department is maintaining an ongoing dialogue with key stakeholders representing the country’s small businesses. The FSB regularly participates in the Business Secretary’s twice weekly call and regularly engages with my Department on a number of issues relating to covid-19.
My right hon. Friend is quite right: we want to focus on getting business back to work; but these lockdown measures were introduced to protect lives. Relaxing the measures too much would, we feel, risk damage to public health, our economy and all the sacrifices we have all made. As my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for Education said last week, it is incredibly important that we create environments that are safe in which to work and learn. We will adjust lockdown measures when the scientific advice indicates that it is safe to do so.