Britain and the Geopolitics of Space Technology
Safeguarding long-term UK space interests in an era of great power competition
In Britain and the Geopolitics of Space Technology, Dr John Sheldon argues that spacepower has become critical in shaping the 21st century strategic competition and that space is a strategic sector of national security interest. Competing effectively in the global space race requires industrial scale. The report warns about China’s aggressive build-up in global tech markets. The allied response must ensure viable Western alternatives to Beijing-backed players. Furthermore, AUKUS should be expanded to include space technology cooperation. Safeguarding space-industrial competitiveness via an internationalist policy, rather than protectionist measures, is essential. Most importantly, Government should view the space sector not just in hard geopolitical terms, but also from a wider geoeconomic perspective as well.
As Dr. John Sheldon notes in this timely Policy Exchange report, British policy makers need to do more to ensure that UK space industry has a fighting chance in increasingly challenging foreign markets. Government should not pick national champions, but it should ensure that British space companies can compete – through international alliances if necessary – against economic rivals that use unfair influence and underhand tactics.Rt Hon Chris Skidmore MP