The UK’s threat to establish an alternative to the Galileo satellite system is a clever Brexit bargaining position – but should be no more than than that.

This article was submitted to the UK Defence Journal by Tom Jones. Tom is the former Deputy Editor of Raddington Report and has written defence articles for a range of media outlets and can be found tweeting at @Jones219T

Britain’s place in the cosmos, it seems, is under threat. The EU’s chief negotiator, Michel Barnier, has consistently reiterated his plans to restrict access to the Public Regulated Service (PRS) aspect of the €10 bn Galileo programme (the highly encrypted element which would be largely used by militaries and government). PRS is currently only available to EU Member states – post-Brexit, the UK will be classed as a ‘third party’, thus excluding British companies from bidding on contracts to build or maintain the Galileo project and requiring the UK Government to negotiate a new deal with the EU in order to provide access to the PRS.

As a response to Barnier’s threats, Business Secretary Greg Clarke has launched a task force to investigate the UK setting up an alternate and independent version of Galileo. Whilst the UK aerospace and space sector is doubtless more than capable of producing such a system, the fact remains that this ambition is largely a bargaining position – and should remain so.

Galileo, which will become active in 2020, is actually duplicating the work of the pre-eminent satellite navigation, the American Global Positioning System (GPS) – it was, in fact, originally set up in order to reduce European dependence on the American system. There is undoubted benefit to having two systems operating concurrently; dual systems increase accuracy, and also provide far greater reliability. The development of a system exclusive to the UK would also provide a huge boon to the UK’s space sector. The withdrawal from Galileo has the potential to see British businesses millions to European rivals and see thousands of hi-tech jobs lost, but the development of a system utilising the full extent of Britain’s aerospace and space sector talent would see the sector boosted, rather than simply protected from any potential losses.

However, Airbus’ UK managing director Colin Paynter stated the cost of development of an exclusive UK system would be between £3 & 5 billion over 4 to 5 years and estimated that the annual cost of the system would be somewhere around £800 million. This would be a huge amount of money to find for the government, especially allowing for the usual cost and time overruns so typical of large government-backed technology projects.

There are non-budgetary problems, too. The UK currently has no launch systems, requiring an outside partner with the capacity – such as the EU, China, India, Russia or the US – to launch and maintain the system. The work that British companies have already done on Galileo cannot seasily be duplicated, either, since some of it may be protected by non-UK patents. There is also the issue of the limited available radio frequency on which to send the signals back – this has already been the subject of a severe disagreement between the US and the EU when Galileo was being developed in 2003, as the US argued Galileo’s signal was too close to that used by GPS.

A more apt solution would be, simply, to renegotiate back into the PRS fold. British companies have valuable skills which the project would do well not to lose; Airbus currently manages the project’s ground control centres, Surrey Satellite Technologies produces the payloads for the satellites and CGI UK have developed much of the security around PRS. Whilst Michel Barnier will no doubt sting Britain at the negotiating table, it is likely that the resulting agreement will likely still be more cost-effective than developing, establishing and maintaining a wholly new system – particularly given that Britain intends to keep a close security relationship with Europe.

It is easy to dismiss nay-saying around a Galileo alternative as unambitious, grey-sky thinking. However, to ‘strike a match, go start anew’ at such great cost would in fact go against the traditions of British space policy, which has always been founded on strong and clever collaborations with partners such as the EU and US providing a huge capability for remarkably modest public expenditure.

To spend the cost of a relatively sizeable naval surface fleet simply to spite our former partners in Europe seems to be rather counter to the British way of space.

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Mr Bell
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Mr Bell

Lets get this done, if for nothing else but to show the EU we can do this on our own and our system is far superior to the delayed, overspent and obsolete at point of delivery Galileo system the EU is trying to bring into service. There will be knock on unknown benefits from this programme spreading out to other technology areas. The UK IT and advanced space industry is one of our massive strengths and something the EU are being stupid ignoring. They think if they ban us because we are a “3rd country” and a “security risk” that… Read more »

Chris
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Chris

(Chris H) Mr Bell – You can bet the other members of ‘5 Eyes’ are already assessing how they (including the USA) might benefit from an advanced UK system. Not everyone likes dealing with the EU and especially not how they are treating the UK with dismissive arrogance.

Nigel Collins
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Nigel Collins

Agreed in full Mr Bell & Chris.

We lead the world in so many areas when it comes to design and technology, its time HMG did the same and provided sufficient funding for projects like this one.

Europe would be very foolish indeed to make an enemy of the UK post Brexit.

Martin
Guest
Martin

Your assuming there is a way for the UK to negotiate back in. Based on what? The Uk did not start of by saying it wanted to build its own system, it was informed by the commission that it would not be able to participate.

If it cost 3-5 billion then its a small price to pay to maintain a thriving space sector. Also not having a rocket matter’s very little. We just use space X. Galileo satellites were lifted into space by Russian rockets.

David E Flandry
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David E Flandry

The UK would be merely reinventing the wheel, not contributing original research or technology. Building its own launch vehicles would do more for the UK space sector than duplicating the US system. Of course, when the EU wants to use ANY British territory for Galileo, tell them…. well, can’t do that.

Roger palmer
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Roger palmer

This article assumes good will from our “European Partners”. This is all part of the European plan to isolate the U.K. It is political and not based on a pragmatic assessment of what is best for both side.

J.T
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J.T

I don’t think the rationale of a UK satellite navigation system would be to spite EU partners. The reality is that it’s a grand strategic vision with enormous potential for the UK and it’s industries, together with the opportunity to surpass Galileo technology with a more up to date approach. In particular if the UK were to offer a more accurate regulated service than Galileo’s PRS then it might potentially offer a more attractive service to users and undermine the calculus underpinning Galileo’s economics. On this one the balls now firmly in the EU’s court.

Chris
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Chris

(Chris H) Sorry Mr Jones you come across as just another EU apologist who cannot for the life of you conceive of a Britain not dependent on the EU for everything. Frankly people like you make me puke with your defeatism. We are better than anything in the EU and have been subjugated by endless internal agreements, regulations and Directives let alone never ending EU Law which we can neither challenge or repeal. Did anyone tell us when the EU was foisted on us without so much as a a by your leave that 20 years later our feet would… Read more »

barry white
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barry white

Wow (Chris H)
That was some sermon
I love it
Only thing is now is the traitorous remainers will be up in arms with that statement
Just think of the deal we could have had if they would have excepted a democratic vote
So at the end of the day its the remainers who got us this crap deal
The said people who wanted to remain slaves of Germany sorry i meant the EU (thats of course if we dont walk away)

Mr Bell
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Mr Bell

I need to buy you a drink sometime. Excellent reply truely brought a tear to my eye. I think with some steely British determination like that we will be just fine. I do however think you should go into politics. Chris H for PM. You get my vote. Tired of all the deafetism and statements from our supposed leaders. Hunt aaid on record that no matter the EU does we will remain their friends and good committed neighbours. Bloody hell just bend over and take it up the you know what. No wonder no viable deal that is beneficial to… Read more »

Chris
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Chris

(Chris H) Mr Bell – Mine’s pint of Old Speckled Hen ta … I think Hunt also said that if the EU can’t change their attitude and start being as creative as the UK and we ‘crash out’ (not my words) then the reaction will be a generational fissure between the UK and the EU. That suits me just fine if thats what they want. Its them who trouser a £100 Bn a year trade surplus in goods not us. A 10% tariff on that will give us an extra £10 Bn a year … What Remainers cannot grasp is… Read more »

James
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James

The operational cost is £800m per year, that’s 10% of our net contribution to the EU, plus an estimated £3 – £5 Billion capital cost, which means we will spend 25% of of what we don’t contribute to the EU (assuming no cost overruns and a 5 year implementation), on a system which does the same as GPS, which currently costs us nothing.
Is this the best use of our resources?

Tom Jones
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Tom Jones

I voted Leave

David Taylor
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David Taylor

I would rather have a constellation of reconnaissance satellites for the money.

Daniele Mandelli
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Daniele Mandelli

As part of 5 Eyes the UK bought into the US satellite constellation when our own Zircon was cancelled. That is GCHQ paid NSA for access. For our money we part own 3 US Magnum satellites and have the right to task them for an amount of time. These are Sigint satellites. This is dated information so no doubt now the assets may have changed. As far as recon birds go I don’t know the US satellites we have access to but we must have access under 5 eyes as DIFC at Wyton’s roles include photo satellite BDA and analysis.… Read more »

SoleSurvivor
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SoleSurvivor

Didn’t we launch a satellite earlier this year for recon for the RAF?

Daniele Mandelli
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Daniele Mandelli

Yes a micro satellite. Article was on here wasn’t it. I don’t for one moment think that it has the capability of the established NSA NRO ones.

SoleSurvivor
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SoleSurvivor

Yeah it was on here, military satellites is not something I know a lot about ie what types they are etc.

I’ve just read about “zircon” fascinating really and a shame it got cancelled.

David Taylor
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David Taylor

If only the US had a constellation of global positioning satellites……….

Daniele Mandelli
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Daniele Mandelli

I agree with Chris H and Mr Bell.

Let’s get on with it. We are more than capable.

If the EU want to restrict us fine.

We are part of 5 Eyes. They are not. End.

If other nations have launch facilities what is stopping the UK?

I’d suggest lack of ambition and will from HMG. Could we use the South Atlantic facilities we have?

I’m not knowkedgeable at all on the best launch locations and how our northern hemisphere location affects this? The Russians used Plestek and that too is similar I think?

dadsarmy
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dadsarmy

I don’t see it as really connected with the EU, the UK / Britain / whatever anyone wants to call it should have its own navigation system and communications, to give political Independence in this modern age of relatively cheap and getting cheaper satellites.

It’s not rocket science, after all.

Steve M
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Steve M

We could use them but it’s a bit of a pain setting a launch site up and shipping launch vehicles, especially to island locations. Add that to the already established launch facilities and we may well struggle to compete. The niche polar orbit launch capability we could offer is pretty much a game changer and we should focus on that, i.e. what the are doing now up North is good 🙂

David Taylor
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David Taylor

If only some country were developing a plane so we could fly satellites up to space………….

It always makes me laugh how Republican France kept so much of its empire we could use Guyana. If only we had a ‘firm’ relationship with them which was more two ways than them just exporting excess population here. Instead we depend on other players. Heck without our tech the whole >cough< European, sorry French, space program would have got nowhere.

farouk
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farouk

@To spend the cost of a relatively sizeable naval surface fleet simply to spite our former partners in Europe seems to be rather counter to the British way of [email protected] Really, the last I looked, the UK government has bent over backwards in which to make Brexit as smooth as possible, and in which to accommodate as many EU demands as possible, The only people I see being spiteful is Strasbourg, which is doing everything it can in which to ensure that Brexit is as painful as possible for everyone, in which to ensure that nobody else even contemplates leaving,… Read more »

Daniele Mandelli
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Daniele Mandelli

Well said farouk.

DRS
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DRS

Let’s build a “Newton”. Use the same frequencies of the EU on (that is U.K. IP too) but different encryption codes. Use space x as a launch platform initially in the US and if then if possible fund them with grants etc to build a factory in the U.K. build under license too and we launch from U.K. or from Ascension Island. Build up the infrastructure for us to participate in the next set of space industry. Also at the same time support another home grown launch system or systems. We definitely need something like this – Barnier and co… Read more »

SoleSurvivor
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SoleSurvivor

“Hawking”

Daniele Mandelli
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Daniele Mandelli

Yes I like that suggestion Sole.

Steve M
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Steve M

I’d go for “Turing” myself. I do like “Hawking” too though.

Mr Bell
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Mr Bell

The government so classify all UK technology as top secret, bring it in house. Make it a national security issues. Then tell the EU as of now all Galileo UK sourced technology is off limits. The Galileo project will not have access to UK overseas territories for tracking stations and communications relays. We will need those for our own Stephen Hawkings system. I love that name for a UK designed, built and controlled sovereign system. It is time the UK government grew some balls. Take the gloves off and explain to the EU what a no deal means. Ireland no… Read more »

Daniele Mandelli
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Daniele Mandelli

Agree with plenty of that but the 37 billion withdrawl bill is something we agreed to pay already pre referendum as per EU spending plans. I no longer have a problem with it. Mr Bell we pay tens of billions a year already so just think of it as 3 more years of payments then it ends. Better than remaining and paying indefinitely. I agree with plenty of your bullish words but I’m afraid HMG run the country and they will exit how it suits them. It is already happening and it takes more than up and at em words… Read more »

Chris
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Chris

(Chris H) Daniele – as usual we are on the same wavelength on this EU thing but can I gently correct you on the £37 Bn payments? Nothing was agreed before the referendum and when it was discussed it was the EU making it ‘Item One’ on the agenda. An sequential agenda that is actually in breach of Article 50 but thats another discussion. The EU needs our money desperately because other people’s money is the glue that holds the festering Ponzi scheme together. Years ago they coined the phrase ‘Treasure Island’. And they meant the UK. You should keep… Read more »

Daniele Mandelli
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Daniele Mandelli

No worries Chris. I absorb as much as I can from your EU comments as ammunition against Remainers day to day!

Julian
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Julian

“The government so classify all UK technology as top secret, bring it in house. Make it a national security issues. Then tell the EU as of now all Galileo UK sourced technology is off limits.” I’m not sure we could retrospectively classify technology that has already been licensed under commercial terms. Even if the government could step in and somehow do that I think it would send out a very bad message to the rest of the world just at the point when we are trying to position ourselves for post-Brexit trade, the message being that you might sign a… Read more »

dadsarmy
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dadsarmy

“Is a new British satellite navigation system a good idea?”

Yes, next question.

dadsarmy
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dadsarmy

Eh, and nothing to do with the EU either way, Remain or Leave.

geoff
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geoff

I have generally been a fence sitter on Brexit not having seen any convincing arguments either side of the debate. Europe as a loose federation has done much that is good for its members but the Europe of federal creep and an increasing autocracy has crossed many red lines. Barnier’s never ending spite and aggresion has almost tipped me to the Brexit side. On subject, it is wonderful to see plans such as the above and Tempest-Britain has NEVER lacked technical brilliance. What has held us back in the past has been a lack of confidence in or ability to… Read more »

Daniele Mandelli
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Daniele Mandelli

Careful geoff. You’ll be accused of being a “Little Englander” by some on here for saying that.

Good on you.

geoff
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geoff

Duly warned Daniele-I’ll mind my p’s and q’s going forward 🙂

Daniele Mandelli
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Daniele Mandelli

Nah! Stuff em I say! We need more people to be confident and believe in their nation.

The way some a speaking on the TV, papers and social media you’d think the UK was a wee tiny of nation of nobodies that has never been involved in global maritime trade for hundreds of years and cannot make a sandwich, or have the ingredients to put in one!

Stephen
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Stephen

Completely agree geoff.

geoff
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geoff

Thanks Stephen

Chris
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Chris

(Chris H) Geoff – You perfectly explained why I, as a 28 year old, voted ‘Remain’ in 1975 for the ‘looser’ trade based EEC where we had a good relationship with 11 other similar nation states. You also mentioned why I have fought against the ‘political union’ the EU has been foisting on us inch by unnoticed inch for 20+ years.

And why, in only our 2nd referendum on this, I voted ‘Leave’ 41 years after I voted ‘remain’.

Barry Larking
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Barry Larking

Well said. I predict some of the ‘Europeans’ will only be too happy join us in collaborative projects post Brexit.

Nigel Collins
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Nigel Collins

Well said Geoff. Self belief and proper funding for our armed forces are most definitely lacking in numbers!

David E Flandry
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David E Flandry

Oh, come now geoff. Besides Newton, Darwin, Shakespeare, Churchill, Nelson, Turing, Babbage, Maxwell, Boole, Rutherford, Haldane, Bacon( Roger and Francis), Dalton, Davy, Dirac, Halley, Faraday, Hawking, Heaviside, Higgs, Wilkins, Wilson, ………………………………….., and Smith and Jones, just how many brilliant Britons have there been?

JohnHartley
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JohnHartley

Well the Americans have to keep on updating their GPS , so why not ask them if the UK could have a small stake in the next generation? The US has budget issues too, so they may want to spread the burden.
Or, plan B, see if their are other friendly, non EU nations we could partner with. Australia, Canada, Japan, Israel, India, Japan, South Korea, Taiwan, all come to mind.

barry white
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barry white

I wouldnt bother with India as they are too close to Russia

Billythefish
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Billythefish

Tom Jones – sorry not a great article – agree it is a very London centric pessimistic view.

One note particularly – GPS and DGPS signals are sold to the market and this market is increasing. So the OPEX and potentially some of the CAPEX can be recovered by selling the signal to commercial users.

Martin
Guest
Martin

One issue with hypothetical system is wil the treasury be expecting two the MOD to foot the Budget. If not I am all for it. We might also consider using micro satellites for it and launch them from our own dedicated launch facility in northern Scotland.

As to keeping source code etc from EU this should be a last resort if the EU try’s to blockade the UK in any way.

Steve
Guest
Steve

All the negativity towards the EU makes me laugh. Think about it guys, who voted for the UK to leave the EU, was it restEU or the UK? It was us obviously and now we have to accept the consequences of that. We voted, for better or worse, to leave the custom and free trade union and so we can not now have all the benefits of being a member without the downsides, that is just not how the world works and was realistically never possible, however much the leave campaign seemed to make it look. We are in a… Read more »

geoff
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geoff

Steve-I understand much of what you say but my analogy would be I leave my Sports Club-my fellow Members wish me well for the future. I no longer enjoy the benefits of Membership but if I like I can remain as a Social member or be signed in as a guest. My former associates don’t hate me nor do I have any bad feeling towards them. My beef is with Barnier and Associates. They have over the last 2 years been consistently aggresive, obstructive, rude and acting in bad faith. The UK has bent over backward to be accomodating, offering… Read more »

Chris
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Chris

(Chris H) geoff – Excellent and concise response. And no its right on topic because the article itself makes the link between the EU, this satellite project and our leaving the EU.

Lee1
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Lee1

You have a point but that is not the whole picture. Canada which was never part of the EU has managed to do a very good free trade deal with them but it seems they do not want to give us the same sort of deal despite us already abiding by EU laws and regulations… There are valid solutions to the Irish Border but the EU is rejecting them all. I voted to remain but I still can’t applaud the way the EU is conducting itself right now. If they had been less focused on expansion and power grabbing and… Read more »

geoff
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geoff

Good post

Chris
Guest
Chris

(Chris H) Steve – I respect anyone who is of your opinion about the EU although I fundamentally disagree. So I always ask people of the opinion we are an insignificant player in all this some maybe rhetorical questions: * Who has the £100 Bn a year trade surplus with the UK? – The EU. * Who will it hurt most if we reverse the EU’s External tariffs back onto them? – The EU. * Which country is lumbered with having to charge that EU External Tariff against countries outside the EU and with whom we could have tariff free… Read more »

David Taylor
Guest
David Taylor

I just want the opportunity to buy South African built RHD German cars at that the same prices the Japanese and Australians do……. 🙂

(I don’t really want a German car, but you get the point.)

Daniele Mandelli
Guest
Daniele Mandelli

Bravo.

Steve
Guest
Steve

Have you actually looked at the real numbers and how reliant the EU really is on the UK Vs the other way around. The UK has a huge 70 billion trade deficit with the EU (we buy in more than we sell and a non free trade deal will mean more tax on that’s assuming we can’t move our trade else where, which currently looks unlikely, with no nation appearing to want an improved deal with us currently), with this being heavily balanced by services which we have a surplus but a lot of that will move. If a proportion… Read more »

Chris
Guest
Chris

(Chris H) Steve – I notice you haven’t answered any of my questions. Remainers never do. And you take the nett trade deficit ignoring the simple fact ‘Services’ are not dutiable. Did you know there isn’t a ‘Single Market’ in Services yet? The EU can’t stitch it together to suit the Germans. You also, as all Remainers do, project ‘Services’ as just Finance. It isn’t, the service industries include: * The retail sector * The financial sector * The public sector * business administration * Cultural activities * The Motor trade * Transport & Warehousing Financial services account for about… Read more »

david
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david

Surely the simple solution is to tell the EU that if we cant access their GPS they cant use UK territory to run it from, my understanding, perhaps wrongly, is that Galileo requires UK territories to operate. If we deny them the ascension Islands, Falklands and Gib, does their super duper GPS system still function ? Whilst it does feel like the EU wants to subjugate us, it is just a negotiation after all. We will have to wait and see what happens at the end, but my guess is we will see the EU cave in on a great… Read more »

DaveyB
Guest
DaveyB

I have a friend who has been involved in the program and is now research the feasibility of a purely UK version. He has said 60% of the GPS tech has been designed and developed in this country. More importantly through the encryption was also designed in this country. So to the feasibility of designing and building our own GPS system, yes we have already designed and built most of the system anyway. I can’t see how Barnier is make such a big deal of this. One, they need us to ensure the satellites are correctly positioned and tracked by… Read more »

DaveyB
Guest
DaveyB

Damn typos

Julian
Guest
Julian

“So to the feasibility of designing and building our own GPS system, yes we have already designed and built most of the system anyway.” And in these sorts of high tech projects when you design and build something you not only create the end product but you also tend to learn, in building the first version, how in retrospect you would have done some things differently to make the end product some or all of – better, cheaper, more efficient or more elegant if you were able to do it all again. If this UK project were to go ahead… Read more »

David Bevan
Guest
David Bevan

Can we try not dropping our heads in servitude to the EU all the time? It’s their choice and if they want to be d*cks about it let them. We should instead turn the entire issue around and make it a fantastic educational opportunity for Brussels. We’ll use Galileo to begin the process of teaching the Commission the life lesson that bad actions have bad consequences. 1.Recover the cost we’ve put into Galileo from any payment we’re making to the EU as a result of Brexit. 2. Find another bilateral partner such as Australia, Canada or Japan who might be… Read more »

Chris
Guest
Chris

(Chris H) So given we can build satellites as well as anyone, we have the encryption capabilities and we have the track and control sites all round the world (thank you Empire) the only unknown is launch capabilities within the UK. The Government has identified different sites for different methodologies and has already had people like Virgin express keen interest. SpaceX are a private commercial company and they will go wherever they can make money. If we offered them an exclusive launch deal based in Scotland (for example) as long as the rockets are built, recovered and refurbished here they… Read more »

David Taylor
Guest
David Taylor

If only somebody was building a ‘space plane’ with 10 tonne payload capacity. We could buy and use them.

Daniele Mandelli
Guest
Daniele Mandelli

If only. Would they sell it though?

And do HMG have the vision?

David Taylor
Guest
David Taylor

Such a plane is being built here right now by Reaction Engines Limited. One of the reasons I voted out was to ensure (or at least frustrate in some way) the EU purloining the tech as they did with our rocket programme back in the 60s and 70s. We are one of the leaders in satellite technology. And we will soon be able to launch them to in a very economic fashion. REL don’t want government interference but why the great and the good of the country aren’t throwing money at the company I don’t know. Rather buy property and… Read more »

Stephen
Guest
Stephen

David Taylor, We definitely want Skylon invested in and supported too, and under no circumstances whatsoever sold to a foreign company like they are obsessed with doing with practically everything, and no other country does to anywhere near the same extent by the way.

Skylon will be a great product for Britain to showcase to the World in this high-tech industry of the future. We definitely want this invested in, supported and kept in British hands for once.

SoleSurvivor
Guest
SoleSurvivor

The rocket engine used for Skylon is called Sabre, and it’s been a joint Anglo-American project since 2015.

Reaction engines has set up an American subsidiary working with DARPA in Colorado to develop it further.

Hate to be the bearer of bad news but Skylon won’t be 100% British.

Sorry mate.

Stephen
Guest
Stephen

We are not giving Spacex, a foreign company, exclusive launch rights in a British spaceport. Too right they’d take our hand off! We do that with practically every industry, let’s for once invest in, and support one of our own. Other countries with a space program use it to design and build their own rockets, Britain should use this golden opportunity to do the same. I believe there is a British company called Orbex who are designing a British rocket called Prime, we should make maximum use of that. I don’t mind launching foreign rockets as well as British, but… Read more »

Steve M
Guest
Steve M

I worry about Orbex and what terms they have with the EU. They have been awarded EU funding recently for I believe the design of a fuel tank, how does this work with Brexit? I’m hoping all designs etc remain proprietary and the UK Gov can just take over any future funding, hope however is the first step on the road to disappointment. If they can get this off the ground (excuse the pun) it seems perfect for our launch needs, with production and assembly in the UK, we won’t need SpaceX. However, a limited time contract whilst we develop… Read more »

Chris
Guest
Chris

(Chris H) – Stephen – The rocket sector is a pretty mature market now so why re-invent that wheel? The real money and market is in the payloads themselves. Which is where we already lead so the further investment like that announced by HMG will create bigger returns than building a rocket. I don’t mind who owns the company as long as its built here. As for “Other countries with a space program use it to design and build their own rockets” actually no they didn’t. Every space programme started life thanks to ever more advanced ICBM missiles. In other… Read more »

Stephen
Guest
Stephen

So our satellite makers are foreign, our rocket makers will be foreign, our power generation is foreign, our car industry is foreign, our train-making industry is foreign, our steel industry is foreign, etc., etc., etc. It’s like someone has went up and down the list and made 110% sure practically everything is owned by foreigners in Britain. Other countries have not done this to anything like this insane, perverted level. Japan’s satellite making companies are not owned by foreigners, let alone that and all the other stuff I mention. Same with China, same with India, same with Russia, same with… Read more »

SoleSurvivor
Guest
SoleSurvivor

**breaking news**

British company Whitbread has just sold costa coffee to Coca Cola for £3bn.

Our coffee is now “foreign”

Shiitttttttttt

Barry Larking
Guest
Barry Larking

“To spend the cost of a relatively sizeable naval surface fleet simply to spite our former partners in Europe seems to be rather counter to the British way of space.”

Typical bottom-aboutface remark from a Remainer. They are not now nor ever were ‘our partners’. We are not being spiteful. We are being spited.

I see we have found more money for foreign aid.

expat
Guest
expat

I happen to agree with most of the comments on here, I personally didn’t think leaving was a good idea but once the decision was made we should have made it 100% clear to the EU we were leaving and used the year from the vote to triggering article 50 to put in place everything needed to walk away. Then we would have been in a strong position to negotiate, telling the EU we’re ready to go what are YOU going to do about it. Anyone who has negotiated a deal of any sorts knows you start with a strong… Read more »

Nigel Collins
Guest
Nigel Collins

Isn’t it amazing what happens when to start playing hardball!

The deal may include an “ambitious free trade agreement” along with cooperation in aviation, security and foreign policy, Michel Barnier added.
https://news.sky.com/story/dominic-raab-admits-brexit-talks-could-creep-beyond-october-deadline-11485075

Steve
Guest
Steve

Hardball? I doubt T May could negotiate herself out of a cardboard box. She should have stamped down on the MPs that were working against her, the ones that were ultimately scared to be the one remembered for taking us out and so stood in the background rather than running for leadership, like Boris. From the outside looking in, it seems to me May would have been 4th or 5th choice or lower in a leadership battle, if Brexit wasn’t happening, instead the main candidates are avoiding stepping forward and are waiting to force her out once the deal has… Read more »

Nigel Collins
Guest
Nigel Collins

I’m referring to our announcement that we are going it alone with an alternative to Galileo Steve. Investing in heavily in defence and holding onto the brexit handshake to fund it would most probably get us an even better deal!

Lee H
Guest
Lee H

Morning all Do we need our own independent system? The EU believe they did and spent near on £10bn creating one, will it work – we will wait and see. The U.K. part of the endeavour however designed and produced most of the things the EU wish to bar is from, which is fine – it’s all covered by IPR at the end of the day so we shall see how that goes. It would be a far better idea to help the US upgrade and sustain their current GPS platform adding in a secure U.K. channel, if that is… Read more »

Lee H
Guest
Lee H

Should read “So the EU”
Train typo ?

John Stevens
Guest
John Stevens

Some of the earlier comments calling remainers traitors or weak were pathetic to put it mildly. I voted to stay in the EU and l would do the same again. Still as much a proud Brit! as anyone else here.. We have to remember Britain benefited greatly after the very difficult decade of the 70’s and early 80’s when it comes to the economy and rebuilding it. Not all about the EU has been bad for this country. But now we are leaving the EU l fully respect that decision. We must have a good deal with the EU or… Read more »