Nigel Evans, MP for the Ribble Valley, has asked the House of Commons to be briefed on what Karen Bradley MP, Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport, is doing to improve BBC fair broadcasting on Brexit.
Speaking in the House of Commons, Mr Evans has asked the Leader of the House, David Lidington MP, for the Secretary of State to talk to MPs about the BBC’s coverage of the EU Referendum.
Speaking in the chamber, Nigel said,
““Like the Shadow Leader of the House, I too believe in the freedom of the media to report, but increasingly the BBC appears to becoming the ‘Brexit Bad Corporation’.
“I listened to the Today Programme at 8am and they reported about the Galileo launch today – four satellites as part of the European Space Agency EU programme. But at the end, they said that British businesses were fearful that they wouldn’t be able to fully cooperate in the future following Brexit.
“So I did a little bit of research and found out that China are part of the programme; Ukraine are part of the programme; Morocco are part of the programme. The last time I looked, none of those three were in the EU.
“So could the Leader of the House arrange for the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport to come and tell the House what discussions she is having with Lord Tony Hall about some fairness in the coverage of our Brexit?”
The Leader of the House agreed with Nigel’s sentiment saying that he was right. The involvement of China, Ukraine and Morocco in the Galileo programme shows that membership of the EU does not govern in these space programmes.
As such, Mr Evans was quick to point out the BBC’s suggestion of businesses being fearful of future programmes, post-Brexit, does not hold up.
In fact, Article I of the United Nations Treaty on Principles Governing the Activities of States in the Exploration and Use of Outer Space (including the Moon and Other Celestial Bodies) states:
“The exploration and use of outer space … shall be carried out for the benefit and in the interests of all countries, irrespective of their degree of economic or scientific development, and shall be the province of all mankind.
Article IX of the same treaty says:
“Parties to the Treaty shall be guided by the principle of cooperation and mutual assistance and shall conduct all their activities in outer space … with due regard to the corresponding interests of all.”
The assertion that Brexit will be detrimental to our space industry seems very tenuous and biased. It is only right that Lord Tony Hall, the Director-General of the BBC, should be pressed by the Department of Culture, Media and Sport to make sure the corporation offers fair and balanced reporting on Brexit. This is what Nigel Evans has called for.