Highlands and Islands MSP Donald Cameron has defended the decision of the UK Government to pick Sutherland as the site for the proposed new vertical spaceport, following criticism from a senior Labour politician.
Commenting on the announcement, Chi Onwurah MP, who acts as Labour’s Shadow Minister for Industrial Strategy, stated in the House of Commons:
“The proposed Sutherland spaceport will be the northernmost operational spaceport in the world. As a Newcastle MP, I am all for going north. However, spaceports are overwhelmingly sited near the equator where the Earth’s rotational speed is highest, allowing rockets to harness an additional natural boost. Does funding take into account the potential extra costs associated and what factors were taken into consideration when choosing the location far from the equator, although close to Tory marginals?”
Responding, Donald Cameron MSP said:
“This is an utterly ignorant comment from a Labour politician.
The fact of the matter is that Sutherland was chosen as the vertical spaceport site because, as the UK Government rightly pointed out, Scotland is the best place in the UK to reach in-demand satellite orbits with vertically launched rockets.
The UK Government also announced an additional £2m towards horizontal launch sites, and there many parts of the UK in the running for this.
It’s abundantly clear however that this utterly bizarre statement highlights the reality that a left-wing Labour government led by Jeremy Corbyn would deny Scotland vital investment.
Only the Scottish Conservatives are committed to long term investment in the Highlands”.
Credit to Calum Ross and the Press and Journal Highlands and Islands Edition who originally reported on the comments.