The United Kingdom and the United States have signed a collaboration agreement to boost the countries' respective space industries. The agreement will allow firms from both countries to operate from spaceports in either location.

Britain said the partnership, signed by transport minister Grant Shapps and his US counterpart, Pete Buttigieg, in Washington this week, would make spaceflight “easier and cheaper”. The move is also expected to “cut down red tape” and reduce the regulatory burden to operators, in order to achieve greater efficiencies and a reduction in costs, resources and duplication while maintaining stringent safety standards.

The partnership will also see the two countries collaborate on the licensing of commercial space launches, and provide benefits including critical defence security and better weather forecasts, to enable television services and more efficient transport, Britain said.

The new declaration “sends a clear signal to...