I think I remember reading somewhere that the continuous wars between the UK and the other European powers was one of the main reasons for the demand that led to the industrial revolution. If that's true, then what to make of this situation?
It was actually extremely toxic for UK-based development of some items. For example, Robert McNamara in the mid-1960s was keen to sell the F-111 to Australia and the UK -- so keen that he leaned hard on the Wilson government to cancel the competing TSR-2 low-level supersonic bomber:
Again, the USAF's cancellation of the GAM-87 Skybolt air-launched IRBM really screwed with the UK's nuclear delivery plans in the 1960s:
And for a modern reprise, look at the premature-ish retirement of the UK Harrier fleet and the ongoing headache over the QE class supercarriers and the F-35B the UK is planning to buy to fly off them. (Note that early iterations of the Eurofighter Typhoon design spec in the 1980s and early 1990s included strengthened landing gear and an arrester hook for carrier ops -- when France dropped out and went alone on the Dassault Rafale, that's what they were after).
Having a "close military relationship" with a larger power means that your own, smaller military ends up as the tail being wagged by the dog.
Which damaged plenty of European aerospace companies like Sauders-Roe (who developed the Black Knight and other UK rockets).
A member of my family was involved with this - he was navy, involved with requisitioning. Remember him telling me that everyone knew it was wrong, and that it was being done at the behest of a certain U.S. aerospace giant, against the background of vickers, Bristol and others eating their lunch.
It was cheaper in the sense that antagonising the U.S. Government is expensive.
PS: The estimated world population was only 15 million at the time agriculture emerged in around 10,000 BCE. A lot of the 'exponential' increase in technology has to do with the exponential increase in population especially idol population.
>Prior to the cancellation of Black Arrow, NASA had offered to launch British payloads for free; however, this offer was withdrawn following the decision to cancel Black Arrow.
That sounds horrible, but both the references are to books so I'm not sure what actually happened.
The Windscale accident itself was largely the fault of the British establishment who pushed it beyond the limits of safety for speed, and repurposed it to manufacture isotopes it was never designed to handle.
There's a small satellite industry in the UK, which seems to be thriving despite official neglect.
UK procurement is just too small-minded and penny-pinching to do these kind of projects.
will put us back in the space race.