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UK Science Minister, Chris Skidmore MP

The UK Science Minister's told BOB fm the government's committed to future investment with the European Space Agency, as the country prepares to leave the EU.

It comes after Airbus Defence and Space in Stevenage officially named the Mars rover it's been developing with the ESA, Rosalind Franklin.

Chris Skidmore's comments also follow warnings from the company's chief executive, Tom Enders, who said a 'no deal' scenario could lead to "potentially very harmful decisions for the UK".

Conservative Minister Mr Skidmore wants to reassure the thousands of people working in the industry locally: "I can't stress this point enough that while we are leaving the European Union, we are a founder member of the European Space Agency.

"The ESA is not the EU and we've committed after Brexit to £1.5-billion of funding for the next four years; we're putting in £350 million a year. Why do we do that? Because it allows us access to a market of roughly £5-billion".

The Minister continued: "Space is incredibly good value for us - for every pound we put in to ESA we get around £10 back. Our commitment on space recognises no boundaries".

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