The UK’s Aerospace, Defence, Security and Space industries are vital to the UK’s national security and economic prosperity.

Together, companies in these sectors generate well-paid jobs, high-tech exports and sustainable growth right across the country. In 2014 our sectors delivered for the UK:

  • £56bn turnover
  • £31bn exports
  • 310,000 direct jobs
  • 9,000 apprentices
  • £22bn value added

Our industries are clear that the UK’s continued membership of the EU is good for companies, their employees and the future prosperity of the country.

A detailed economic assessment by KPMG has shown that the UK’s membership of the EU delivers significant benefits for the UK’s Aerospace, Defence, Security and Space sectors.


  • EU membership makes doing business with Toulouse, Turin and Trier as easy as doing business with Norwich, Newcastle and Nuneaton.
  • Our sectors benefit from free and easy access to trade and integrated pan-European supply chains. UK companies are often key suppliers, providing components, critical elements and sub-systems into Europe’s supply chain.


  • The EU is an important source of funding for UK research, development, collaboration and innovation.
  • Every year the EU funds almost £100m of UK R&D in our sectors – supporting well-paid jobs, innovation and high-tech exports in the UK.
  • The UK stands to gain £2.5bn in space R&D funding by 2021 if we stay in the EU.


  • Whether we’re in or out, the UK will have to meet EU regulations to trade with the EU.
  • Our sectors value the UK’s ability to influence the rules of the EU single market and the global standards which shape the regulatory environment for our key customers and suppliers.
  • When the UK engages and works with key EU partners, it has a good record in bringing about change that benefits UK growth.

Our sectors believe the UK remaining in the EU would be better for our global competitiveness

A survey of ADS members by GfK in 2016 found that 70% believe it would be better for their business if the UK remained in the EU.

Opinion across all sizes of company and all four sectors is overwhelmingly in favour of the UK remaining part of the EU:

  • 69% of SMEs say better to remain
  • 73% of larger companies say better to remain

Only 10% believe it would be better for their business if the UK left the EU – and 20% responded ‘don’t know / makes no difference’.

This support comes with a clear call on the UK to improve the effectiveness and efficiency of Brussels, to become more engaged in EU decision making and positively influence R&D funding decisions, and to maximise the value of EU membership for the benefit of British businesses.

We want government and industry to work proactively within the EU to secure investment, maintain global influence and retain full access to free trade and integrated supply chains

Read more about the benefits to our sectors online here