back to article UK.gov finally adds Galileo and Copernicus to the Brexit divorce bill

Nestled among the mass publication of no-deal guidance yesterday was the UK government's vision for the future of the Brit satellite and space programmes if the country falls out of the EU with no pact in March. The guidance is, unsurprisingly, grim. Galileo Billed as the EU's answer to the USA's GPS system, and aimed at …

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  1. Aladdin Sane Silver badge
    Flame

    TL;DR

    We're fucked.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: TL;DR

      Only if you work in a tiny specialisted field.

      If you are one of the 99% who's job has nothing to do with the space industry, then who cares?

      Effect on the UK economy: insignificantly small and unmeasurable.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: TL;DR

        If you are one of the 99% who's job has nothing to do with the space industry, then who cares?

        The other people who work in industries who support the space industry, the people who run businesses where space industry employees spend their wages, the government department that takes taxation from the space industry and its employees, people who benefit from that taxation.

        But, yeah...apart from them, who cares?

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: TL;DR

          Still insignificantly small.

        2. David Nash Silver badge

          Re: TL;DR

          "The other people..."

          ...not to mention the military who want their high-resolution GPS, and the rest of us whose taxes will pay for implementing our own solution.

      2. Pen-y-gors Silver badge

        Re: TL;DR

        @AC (should really have been Troll icon, but I'll bite...)

        Effect on the UK economy: insignificantly small and unmeasurable.

        Unless you are one of the 158,000+ job losses already announced, and we still haven't left! And then of course there is the drop in government tax income as GDP falls steadily for a decade or more.

        Interesting list at:

        https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/e/2PACX-1vTIPx0lI6pb-3Tn-3D6uNJNyKcCd-A8uPMxViagyJAR9T87ZmnSdAEPCzp5ljlNYoUNdxJiJqQdBm7b/pubhtml

      3. hammarbtyp Silver badge

        Re: TL;DR

        "Only if you work in a tiny specialisted field.

        If you are one of the 99% who's job has nothing to do with the space industry, then who cares?

        Effect on the UK economy: insignificantly small and unmeasurable."

        Unmeasurable maybe, insignificant definitely not.

        Space science is one of those flagships industries which governments spend a lot of money trying to attract. Not only on do they directly employ people in high margin industries and indirectly through suppliers, but spin off industries and expertise gained are immeasurable important, especially in developed economies.

        In fact it is so important the government have already committed £100 mill of UK tax funds, just to see if they can justify spending £4-5 bill to keep the industry going.

        On the other hand, maybe the British economy will be based in the future on tax havens, zero hour contracts warehouses, strawberry picking. So maybe on that basis your right, it doesn't matter at all

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: TL;DR

          Unmeasurable maybe, insignificant definitely not.

          Space science is one of those flagships industries which governments spend a lot of money trying to attract. Not only on do they directly employ people in high margin industries and indirectly through suppliers, but spin off industries and expertise gained are immeasurable important, especially in developed economies.

          In fact it is so important the government have already committed £100 mill of UK tax funds, just to see if they can justify spending £4-5 bill to keep the industry going.

          -------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

          Typically governments are absolutely horrible at picking wise investments, and tend to go for glitz and glamour over real returns. It's all about spinning stuff for the next election.

          It is not uncommon for governments to spend ten or twenty times as much on 'flagship' programs than goes back into the economy in a useful way.

          A smart government would back basic research in broad general areas, and let the more targeted, 'practical' investments come from private industry.

          The Large Hadron Collider is a good project. The more 'applied' and specific a program becomes the less likely it is to be beneficial.

          The costs and damage of the Ontario 'Green Energy' program, which was supposed to create a profitable world class energy industry exporting to everyone in the world (sound like a familiar theme you've heard elsewhere?) has cost the economy tens of billions so far, and the damage is still mounting.

      4. Simon Harris Silver badge

        Re: TL;DR

        "Only if you work in a tiny specialisted field."

        Except that the situation is mirrored across many other fields.

      5. HieronymusBloggs Silver badge

        Specialisted (sic) field

        "If you are one of the 99% who's job has nothing to do with the space industry, then who cares?"

        So you're saying only 1% of people have jobs that depend in some way on satellite communications and GPS? Please cite a source for that figure.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Specialisted (sic) field

          "So you're saying only 1% of people have jobs that depend in some way on satellite communications and GPS? Please cite a source for that figure."

          Way less than 1% rely on the government funded programs such a Galileo

          GPS doesn't stop working after brexit.

          Galileo isn't actually needed, it's a vanity project.

          The only downside is the tiny amount of economic activity promoted by the government/EU funded programs. But they are so small as to mean nothing in terms of the economic future of this country.

          1. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

            Re: Specialisted (sic) field

            "Galileo isn't actually needed, it's a vanity project."

            Only if Europe keeps in with the owners of the other systems and in that respect it's worth remembering that those systems are military in origin. Nobody put those systems in place out of altruism.

          2. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: Specialisted (sic) field

            "Galileo isn't actually needed, it's a vanity project."

            Galileo is not a vanity project. It is a geopolitical/military necessity for an independent superpower - which is what the EU is evolving into.

            The 'we can do it too, so there! UK GNSS' announced by the UK politicians is a vanity project, of little use to a second tier power, and definitely not worth the money.

      6. Paul Stimpson

        Re: TL;DR

        Yeah. What has the space industry and the technology that trickled down from it into wider use ever done for us? It's not like people have benefited from technology like the microprocessor, inertial navigation, priority-based task scheduling, satellites, earth observation, GPS, insulation materials, scratch resistant lenses, CAT scans, LEDs, water purification systems, memory foam...

      7. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

        Re: TL;DR

        "If you are one of the 99% who's job has nothing to do with the space industry, then who cares?"

        And if you work in one of the other 99% who work in some other sector that is equally at risk then who cares when that too goes down the drain.

        Effect on the UK economy: of your particular employer - insignificantly small and unmeasurable.

    2. Thought About IT

      Re: TL;DR

      The only possible way to get unfucked is to hold a second referendum with the option to stay in the EU. Maybe adding to the 800,000 who've already signed this petition to hold one will help.

      1. Helen Highwater

        Re: TL;DR

        And if the result changed to remain. a lot of people would demand a best of three - demanding more votes until the "correct" result is returned is unreasonable.

        1. Warm Braw Silver badge

          Re: TL;DR

          demanding more votes until the "correct" result is returned is unreasonable

          By that logic, we might as well not have elections at all and stick with the government we've got for ever more. Mind you, given that both the present government and opposition are essentially so riven by internal divisions as to be completely ineffective, I can see the merit in your proposition.

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: TL;DR

            >By that logic, we might as well not have elections at all and stick with the government we've got for ever more.

            Add unelected to that and you have the very reason why we have Brexit and Trump. When democracy is too important to leave to the people the wheels will always come off.

            1. Frenchie Lad

              Re: TL;DR

              Spoken like a true Marxist: democracy is fine if the results are in line with my thoughts othwwise I need to fo force matters as the great unwashed masses can't be trusted.

            2. Anonymous Coward
              Anonymous Coward

              Re: TL;DR

              "Add unelected to that and you have the very reason why we have Brexit and Trump."

              Given that Trump was elected... and may well be re-elected... your comment makes no sense.

        2. Thought About IT

          Re: TL;DR

          The level of ignorance about the effects of leaving the EU at the time of the last referendum - not least among the most extreme Brexiteers in the government - casts a long shadow over the proceedings. Holding a referendum on the terms of the negotiated agreement versus the status quo, now that people are much better informed, would be good for democracy.

          1. Pen-y-gors Silver badge

            Re: TL;DR

            @Thought about IT

            The level of ignorance about the effects of leaving the EU at the time of the last referendum - not least among the most extreme Brexiteers in the government - casts a long shadow over the proceedings.

            The level of ignorance about the effects of leaving the EU at the time of the last referendum even now - not least among the most extreme Brexiteers in the government - casts a long shadow over the proceedings.

            FTFY

            1. Anonymous Coward
              Anonymous Coward

              Re: Ignorance of the most extreme Brexiteers in the government

              Especially one Boris Johnson and Herr Farage.

              Sadly, I think we have passed the point of no returm wrt actually leaving the EU. We are out on our earholes and we'll be paying for it for generations.

            2. CrazyOldCatMan Silver badge

              Re: TL;DR

              not least among the most extreme Brexiteers in the government - casts a long shadow over the proceedings

              They probably don't care about the economic consequences - all the Brexiteer polititians are well-off and thouroughly insulated from any consequences of their decisions..

          2. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: TL;DR

            "The level of ignorance about the effects of leaving the EU at the time of the last referendum - not least among the most extreme Brexiteers in the government - casts a long shadow over the proceedings. Holding a referendum on the terms of the negotiated agreement versus the status quo, now that people are much better informed, would be good for democracy."

            People aren't better informed now, though are they?

            All we hear is scaremongering from the media and silly stories about Boris and Theresa.

            They ignore all the positive news. Things like manufacturing and tourism are already booming before Brexit has even happened.

            1. Rich 11 Silver badge

              Re: TL;DR

              Things like manufacturing and tourism are already booming before Brexit has even happened.

              Are they booming because of the Brexit vote or in spite of it? What about the strong run of good summer weather helping tourism? Or are you going to claim that the Brexit vote causing the pound to lose value was a really good thing, in which case you should be demanding we really fuck up the economy because it'll be good for tourism and exports. Oh, wait, you are....

              1. Anonymous Coward
                Anonymous Coward

                Re: TL;DR

                The fall in value of the pound is indeed a good thing.

                Something the media have never understood.

                How something going down can be a good thing.

                They are just simplistic idiots.

                They think when the value of a company goes up, it is good news for the company, and when it goes down it is bad news for the company. Neither are true.

                1. The Specialist

                  Re: TL;DR

                  >The fall in value of the pound is indeed a good thing.

                  This is true if only you sell more than you buy using USD. If you are buying your energy / medicine / industrial products and paying them in USD then how does £1 buy fewer $s than what it used to is a good thing?

                  1. Anonymous Coward
                    Anonymous Coward

                    Re: TL;DR

                    >This is true if only you sell more than you buy using USD.

                    And that is wrong. Just wrong. Fall in value is not just the USD gaining, it is a fall with respect to the rest of the world. So you can trade with Canada in Euro or USD, it does not matter.

                    What matters is that the cost of the work to add value to the raw materials become cheaper and thus more competitive. And that gains more jobs, improves employment etc.

                    1. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

                      Re: TL;DR

                      "What matters is that the cost of the work to add value to the raw materials become cheaper and thus more competitive."

                      Does the term "sweatshop economy" ring a bell with you?

                2. John Brown (no body) Silver badge
                  Gimp

                  Re: TL;DR

                  "How something going down can be a good thing."

                  I believe that a certain type of journalist is well aware that going down can be a good thing.

                3. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

                  Re: TL;DR

                  "The fall in value of the pound is indeed a good thing.

                  Something the media have never understood."

                  ITYF that the media understand very well that the value of the pound is based on a reasoned estimate of the prospects of the British economy (that is, in the absence of fiddling with interest rates to try to buoy it up). If it falls it's because the rest of the world doesn't rate our prospects. Tell me why I should be pleased that the majority opinion is that we'll come out of this badly.

            2. Anonymous Coward
              Anonymous Coward

              Re: TL;DR

              They ignore all the positive news. Things like manufacturing and tourism are already booming before Brexit has even happened.

              -----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

              There are a few things wrong with your failed analysis...

              1. Brexit hasn't happened yet. All the hard regulatory and pragmatic problems have not yet started.

              2. Lots of people have a glibly optimistic belief that the UK couldn't actually be stupid enough to go through with it.

              3. Some manufacturing and tourism are getting a boost from the fact that the GBP is tanking. Other manufacturers are losing business as doubts grow about their ability to deliver timely, reliable, and affordable goods and services after Brexit. As the deadline approaches, the pound is likely to continue to decline, costs are likely to increase, and the numbers of firms hurt rather than helped is likely to increase.

              1. Addanc

                Re: TL;DR

                "As the deadline approaches, the pound is likely to continue to decline, costs are likely to increase, and the numbers of firms hurt rather than helped is likely to increase."

                Sounds like one of those things called an opinion.

            3. Yes Me Silver badge

              booming before Brexit

              "Things like manufacturing and tourism are already booming before Brexit has even happened."

              Is there something in the word "before" that you don't understand?

            4. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

              Re: TL;DR

              "Things like manufacturing and tourism are already booming before Brexit has even happened."

              What's pushing those at the moment is that the pound has dropped. The strength of a currency depends on the markets' judgement about the prospects of an economy. So the general view is that the economy will falter once the trade barriers go up. What trade barriers? Those between us and the greater part of our former home market.

              We/re not ignoring your "good news", we're simply seeing it for what it is.

            5. Anonymous Coward
              Anonymous Coward

              Re: TL;DR

              Lot of downvotes there. You must have put the wind up some remoaners.

          3. Yes Me Silver badge
            Flame

            good for democracy?

            You know what would be really good for democracy? The House of Commons doing its job (as the legislature in a representative democracy) by voting for the good of the country, not for the good of certain political parties. That would fix Brexit in a heartbeat, now that the facts are in.

          4. Frenchie Lad

            Re: TL;DR

            The UK should be voting afresh until the UK attains the "right" result that would be the preferred EU choice, The EU has already used this approach with Eire when it was told to jump a second time but somehow the UK doesn't want to jump in the right direction and all the EU treaties barely paid lip service to the unthinkable idea that anyone would leave.

            Currently it looks as if Brexit is the first of several exits (Hungary?) to avoid a Geman controlled super-state. Mercifully the Germans don't have a viable army at the moment so the Sudentland is safe for the moment. The EU are however making progress having found a modern Chamberlain aka Macron. He clearly understands German needs less so France's.

          5. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

            Re: TL;DR

            "Holding a referendum on the terms of the negotiated agreement versus the status quo, now that people are much better informed, would be good for democracy."

            And if that fails there will be demand for another referendum when reality strikes but by then it will be too late.

            Experience is a dear teacher but there are those who will learn at no other.

            1. John Smith 19 Gold badge
              Unhappy

              "Experience is a dear teacher but there are those who will learn at no other."

              Correct.

              If you were arrested, taken to a police station and handed a blank sheet of paper with "Confession" at the top and asked to sign it at the bottom who in their right minds would do so?

              Yet that is exactly what Leave voters did.

              Now they are reading their "confession" and it turns out they don't like what (they) did.

              Leave voters. However Brexit turns out, this is what you asked for. You gave a blank sheet of paper to a bunch of delusional f**kwits and chancers on the promise of what exactly?

        3. Pen-y-gors Silver badge

          Re: TL;DR

          @Helen Highwater

          You don't understand - the system is to keep voting until we get the correct result, then stop. And of course, 'remain' is the correct result. More votes after that would just be silly.

          1. Flocke Kroes Silver badge

            Re: Neverendum

            Before the referendum, Brexits thought they would lose by a small amount. They set up a petition to repeat the referendum until their was a 60/40 majority in either direction. When the results were announced Bremainers jumped on the petition and took it to 4,150,262 signatures.

            1. Jason Bloomberg Silver badge
              Pirate

              Re: Neverendum

              Before the referendum, Brexits thought they would lose by a small amount. They set up a petition to repeat the referendum until their was a 60/40 majority in either direction.

              Which seems quite sensible and legitimate to me. It doesn't matter which way the vote goes only that there is a substantial majority in favour one way or the other. Until then it's not settled. And it's never settled for eternity - It's an inalienable right to change one's mind, take into account changes, new information and evidence.

              It's how democracy works. We keep voting for governments and representatives, and when we find one which suits the majority they keep getting re-elected. When things change we vote for someone else.

              There is nothing wrong with keeping on voting to come to a consensus. It is how it has always been. It's only hypocritical brexiteers having claimed victory who have now decided it's one vote and that's it, that re-voting is somehow undemocratic.

              I expect they would also say the right to appeal a court conviction is also wrong; once convicted that's it. Tough shit if convicted on the back of lies and false claims.

              1. EvilDrSmith

                Re: Neverendum

                The difference is that we vote for our representatives to parliament, on the strict basis that they fill that role for a period not exceeding 5 years. When we then have the next general election, we are not 'changing our mind'; once we vote for our MP, that result is fixed and permanent, and is not, and cannot be, over turned, because some people don't like the result / think it may be harmful.

                We (the nation) voted in a free and fair referendum, which was not just authorised but instructed to occur by act of parliament. We voted to leave the EU: the exact details of what this meant were indeed unclear (other than it meant leaving the single market, leaving the common external tariff area / customs union, and ending the general jurisdiction of the ECJ, all points that were absolutely clear during the referendum). Parliament voted to enact that result, and duly started the process for leaving the EU. It would be an over-turning of democracy to stop that process: the instruction to leave the EU has been given and so should be carried out.

                Once we have left the EU, then anybody is of course entirely free to make the case to then reverse that decision, just as once your duly elected MP takes his seat in parliament, you are entirely free to start campaigning, for or against him/her, for the next election.

                Of course, given that the only previous time the people of the UK were consulted on membership of the EEC/EC/EU was 1975, which was a referendum won by the remain campaign, it might be viewed as hypocritical for supporters of remain to insist on another referendum in less than 40 years from 2016.

                1. Aladdin Sane Silver badge

                  Re: Neverendum

                  Free, fair, and NOT LEGALLY BINDING referendum.

                2. Geekpride

                  Re: Neverendum

                  @EvilDrSmith: The referendum was by no means free and fair. The Electoral Commission has now proved that Leave committed "serious breaches of the laws put in place by Parliament to ensure fairness and transparency at elections and referendums." (https://www.electoralcommission.org.uk/i-am-a/journalist/electoral-commission-media-centre/news-releases-donations/vote-leave-fined-and-referred-to-the-police-for-breaking-electoral-law)

                  If you think the result should stand, you support criminals cheating to win votes, not democracy.

                  1. EvilDrSmith

                    Re: Neverendum

                    You missed out that the breach of the law committed by the leave campaign was because they took advice from the Electoral Commission, who stated that what they were going to do (in general terms) was legal, when, in fact, it was not. And that the Electoral Commission then attempted to cover up their own part in this to the High Court.

                    From the High Court ruling:

                    Conclusion

                    94. For the reasons given, we conclude that the Electoral Commission has misinterpreted the definition of “referendum expenses” in section 111(2) of PPERA. The source of its error is a mistaken assumption that an individual or body which makes a donation to a permitted participant cannot thereby incur referendum expenses. As a result of this error, the Electoral Commission has interpreted the definition in a way that is inconsistent with both the language and the purpose of the legislation.

                    So the Electoral Commission have found the leave campaign guilty of serious crimes, but the High Court has found the Electoral Commission (in effect) misled the leave campaign, causing that breach of the law.

                    There have also been numerous accusations of breaches of the rules by the remain campaign which the Electoral Commission has failed to investigate (not investigated and found to be unsubstantiated, but failed to investigate).

                3. Anonymous Coward
                  Anonymous Coward

                  Re: Neverendum

                  Then by all means let us go ahead and "overturn democracy" and undo the nightmare.

                  Just because a transaction has been started does not mean it is a good idea and absolutely has to be committed. Rollback is also a perfectly valid and sometimes sensible way to proceed.

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