back to article Galileo, Galileo, Galileo, off you go: Snout of UK space forcibly removed from EU satellite trough

From the department of "you only just realised this?" come reports that the UK government has been somewhat taken aback that the EU plans to exclude Britain from the Galileo satellite programme due to Brexit. Galileo is a European satellite constellation which, when complete in 2020, will be an alternative to the US Global …

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          1. hewbass

            Re: The Swiss are in it

            But we are leaving the treaties that put us in it.

            The Swiss have negotiated to join. We're leaving.

        1. ToddRundgrensUtopia

          Re: The Swiss are in it

          No because Brussels is vindictive. More proof we are better out than in.

      1. Spiracle

        Re: The Swiss are in it

        The Swiss have negotiated to pay €27m a year to be part of the development program but Swiss access to PRS (the mega-secure crypto infrastructure part) is AFAIK, after more than 10 years of negotiations, still just an aspiration. It's loss of access to PRS keys through the security treaties that will lapse when the UK leaves the EU that's preventing UK firms getting contracts.

        Norway also contributes but doesn't get PRS.

      2. Dan 55 Silver badge

        Re: The Swiss are in it

        No reason the UK needs to leave. Just more petty politics.

        Switzerland is in the EFTA. The UK has decided it won't be.

        1. Phil O'Sophical Silver badge

          Re: The Swiss are in it

          Switzerland is in the EFTA. The UK has decided it won't be.

          How does membership of a free trade organization (whih is outside the customs union anyway) relate to participation in a scientific & research project?

          1. Dan 55 Silver badge

            Re: The Swiss are in it

            I imagine it comes under one or more of the bilateral agreements they have with the EU, e.g. Science.

            UK universities are currently staring over the edge of a precipice because there's no similar agreement.

            (I didn't downvote.)

        2. jonfr

          Re: The Swiss are in it

          UK created EFTA because they wanted to create something equal to EEC at one point in history. Then UK left EFTA for EEC and now is UK leaving EU for nothing to replace it.

      3. Phil O'Sophical Silver badge

        Re: The Swiss are in it

        Just more petty politics.

        Exactly. Galileo is overseen by the EU and the ESA (and is way behind scheduled and over budget). The ESA isn't even an EU organization, the UK is still a leading member of it. This is just more childish EU politicians (Selmayr likely has a finger in it) threatening to take their ball & go home because we've said we don't like them. If they want our money, they'll find a way to kiss & make up.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: The Swiss are in it

          "The ESA isn't even an EU organization, the UK is still a leading member of it."

          The ESA may be such, but Galileo is a critical piece of civilian infrastructure, and a key piece of military operational infrastructure, which must needs be protected from outsiders.

          If you decide to become outsiders, then you must expect rational adjustments, conforming to security imperatives.

          1. John Smith 19 Gold badge
            Unhappy

            If you decide to become outsiders, then you must expect rational adjustments,

            Rationality is not a word that applied to many Leave voters or campaigners*

            *Except the ones who anticipated making shedloads of cash from more helpless, less protected British citizens.

        2. Roland6 Silver badge

          Re: The Swiss are in it

          Exactly. Galileo is overseen by the EU and the ESA

          Exactly! To a blue blood Brexiteer leaving "the EU" means not having the EU have any influence over the UK, hence why the UK has to also leave the EEA, EFTA, Euratom, etc. etc.

          At some point, some Brexit nutter is going to decide the UK should leave the WTO because the EU has a bigger influence over the WTO than the UK, and thus if the UK were to abide by WTO rules it would be abiding by rules originating in Brussels and we can't have that...

        3. Charlie Clark Silver badge
          Facepalm

          Re: The Swiss are in it

          This is just more childish EU

          This from the people that brought us "Brext it means Brexit". You really can't make the shit up that people come out with!

        4. This post has been deleted by its author

      4. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

        Re: The Swiss are in it

        "Just more petty politics."

        That's what Brexit's about.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: The Swiss are in it

          "Just more petty politics."

          That's what Brexit's about.

          Brexit started as a cynical ploy to pander to some segments of the population for votes, by a politician who neither expected it nor wanted it.

          Similarly, May's snap election was another piece of political opportunism which returned the opposite of the expected result.

          Now England will pay a price for such self-serving petty politics, and it is anyone's guess how united the kingdom will be when the dust finishes settling.

          1. Alan Brown Silver badge

            Re: The Swiss are in it

            "Now England will pay a price for such self-serving petty politics, and it is anyone's guess how united the kingdom will be when the dust finishes settling."

            If history is any guide, it's worth remembering that in 1971 the UK was Europe's sick man, with an economy down the shitter and a population that was in freefall - with the skilled and talented leaving in droves (leaving the unskilled and untalented behind - who make up large tracts of the aging population that voted "leave"). Joining the EU saved the country, but at cost of tearing up all existing trade agreements with former colonies, many of whom suffered very badly as a result.

            Memories are long. Mother England is a distant memory. New trade agreements may be brokered, but Boris and his Etonian chums are about to find out that when you're over a barrel, the terms negotiated will not be in your favour. This isn't the old days of empire and the British Army/British Navy can't come in to enforce Pax Brittania to keep those pesky natives down and get trade deals on terms which suit the Empire.

            1. Anonymous Coward
              Anonymous Coward

              Re: The Swiss are in it

              Memories are long. Mother England is a distant memory. New trade agreements may be brokered, but Boris and his Etonian chums are about to find out that when you're over a barrel, the terms negotiated will not be in your favour. This isn't the old days of empire and the British Army/British Navy can't come in to enforce Pax Brittania to keep those pesky natives down and get trade deals on terms which suit the Empire.

              I am sitting on the other side of an ocean, watching from a safe distance.

              I've been reading sources from around the world for many years, and I can't help getting the impression that a number of people in the UK, particularly politicians and activists of various stripes don't really have a firm grasp on the world as it exists today.

              Some seem trapped by ideology, some by ingrained class indoctrination (social class, nothing to do with education - except in Britain, which may be part of the problem), some by a world view rooted in the reality of decades or generations ago.

              Assumptions and expectations abound, and from here it seems like they keep getting in the way of dealing with the issues raised by the current situation in a reasonable and effective manner.

              The world has moved on, and is continuing to do so. The Commonwealth is no longer an extension, but independent, with countries putting their own priorities first. Former backwater agricultural nations and colonies are turning into high tech industrial economies. Trade patterns and alliances emerge, evolve, and shift. Countries that lag in trade, or technology, or productivity suffer. Protectionism becomes less and less effective, and ever more harmful to the instigator, as global trade and technological convergence erode old principles of dominance and manipulation. Adaptability, economic flexibility and global integration leaves governments and overly prescriptive policies farther and farther behind.

              In the end, the results are unlikely to be as bad as they might be, nor as good as politicians tend to promise. One should not, however, underestimate the ability of competing political agendas and maneuvers to snatch disaster from the the possibility of a better result.

              If the various parties could step back from posturing and selling snake oil, and talk reasonably, it would present a more hopeful picture.

              Good luck over there.

              1. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

                Re: The Swiss are in it

                "Good luck over there."

                Thanks, we'll need it.

            2. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

              Re: The Swiss are in it

              "This isn't the old days of empire and the British Army/British Navy can't come in to enforce Pax Brittania"

              In the absence of any gunboats in the RN I suppose we could send a rowing boat. Preferably a leaky one with Farage and his mates doing the rowing.

              1. AndrueC Silver badge
                Joke

                Re: The Swiss are in it

                In the absence of any gunboats in the RN I suppose we could send a rowing boat. Preferably a leaky one with Farage and his mates doing the rowing.

                They'll need to check that they have the right permits first. And I must say that it all sounds rather fishy.

            3. Mage Silver badge

              Re: Now England will pay a price for such self-serving petty politics

              Sadly N.I., Ireland, Scotland & Wales will too.

              London, N.I. & Scotland voted remain.

              Ireland wasn't asked. No consideration given to GFA. Now Tories propped up by DUP (28% of NI 1st preference vote in Assembly and only party campaigned actively for Exit in N.I., as well as ads in UK mainland.) So UK government is partisan in N.I. and ignoring will of majority in Scotland and N.I.

            4. Anonymous Coward
              Anonymous Coward

              Re: The Swiss are in it

              in 1971 the UK was Europe's sick man,... Joining the EU saved the

              WE DIDN'T JOIN THE EU IN 1971, WE JOINED THE COMMON MARKET

              Jesus on a flying bike, can you people not get your brains in gear long enough to understand what you're commenting on, FFS? We joined the EU (without a referendum, and when opinion polls showed a majority were opposed) as a result of John Major signing the Maastrict treaty in 1992.

              The EEC worked, it was useful, it met a need. We would have stayed.

              The EU does not work, it is not needed, and it serves only to pamper the vanity of politicians who want to be in control. Of everything.The sooner it dies the better for all of Europe.

          2. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: The Swiss are in it

            " and it is anyone's guess how united the kingdom will be when the dust finishes settling."

            Recent YouGov poll:

            'An “overwhelming majority” of Tory voters included in the poll would prioritise leaving the EU over maintaining a United Kingdom,[...]

          3. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: The Swiss are in it

            "Brexit started as a cynical ploy to pander to some segments of the population for votes, by a politician who neither expected it nor wanted it."

            Even *that* is an almost generous interpretation. It was as much to do with Cameron keeping the hard-right, Eurosceptic elements *within* his own party within the fold and under control by throwing them a bone. At best it was pandering to stereotypical Tory voters in their heartland in the South East of England.

            "Now England will pay a price for such self-serving petty politics"

            Wish it was just England- and Wales as well, since they voted for it- that were going to have to suffer the consequences, but Scotland will be facing them too, despite the fact we voted by a *far* larger margin to remain- and worse, that the case for *remaining* in the Union three years ago was our place within the EU might be at risk if we voted for Independence.

            I'm certainly glad enough of my countrymen bought that line. Thank f*** our place within the EU is safe because we loyally stuck with LIttle England.

            Ditto Northern Ireland. I can guarantee 100% that almost none of the navel-gazing Leavers elsewhere were remotely thinking of NI when they voted, let alone what the consequences would be.

            "it is anyone's guess how united the kingdom will be when the dust finishes settling."

            Indeed.

            1. Mooseman Silver badge

              Re: The Swiss are in it

              "pandering to stereotypical Tory voters in their heartland in the South East of England."

              Actually it was the traditionally labour voters in places like the North East who largely voted for leaving the EU. Much of the Southeast didn't - London, for example.

              1. Anonymous Coward
                Anonymous Coward

                Re: The Swiss are in it

                "Actually it was the traditionally labour voters in places like the North East who largely voted for leaving the EU. ""

                The Leave areas also appear to be those who currently have benefited most from EU grants. They are now slowly realising that the government may not make up the shortfall post-Brexit. Gove has announced the removal of farming subsidies in favour of leaving land fallow and relying more on food imports.

              2. Anonymous Coward
                Anonymous Coward

                Useful idiots

                "Actually it was the traditionally labour voters in places like the North East who largely voted for leaving the EU. Much of the Southeast didn't - London, for example."

                My fault for not being clearer there. I meant that the motivation for *calling* the referendum in the first place was internal Tory politics and (at most) placating the right-wing element of their own voter base mainly in the English South-East. (#)

                I'm well aware- unfortunately- that the Leave vote was carried by disillusioned voters in the patronisingly-named English "regions"- and Wales- using it as much as a protest vote against being ignored by Westminster.

                As a Scot who's spent years complaining about the London/English-South-East-centric navel-gazing mindset of Westminster and might otherwise have sympathised on that point, my response is... utter contempt. Seriously, you treated the future of the United Kingdom as a protest vote, a political football to send a "f*** you" to those Tories in London, thinking you were voting "against" them when in fact you were being useful idiots to the worst hard right aspects of that same party (along with those who joined UKIP because the Tories weren't Tory enough)?

                F*** *you*. You dragged us all into this, I hope (as predicted) you get the worst of it.

                (#) And as much- if not more so- the "Telegraph-reading retired army colonel living in the home counties" types than "metropolitan" Londoners, though I'd still have expected a sizeable percentage of more traditional London Tories to vote leave.

            2. briesmith

              Re: The Swiss are in it

              I don't think someone who wants Scotland to leave the UK after 400 years can have anything sensible to say about the UK wanting to leave the EU after 40.

              For those that think, going forward, there's nothing to fear about the EU, have a read of this:

              https://www.theguardian.com/world/2018/mar/27/meps-raise-cronyism-concerns-at-hiring-of-jean-claude-juncker-successor.

              All the EU has to offer is ever more nepotism and corruption as its elite - whose total grip on the EU's bureaucracy means they are the masters, today, tomorrow and for the future - share out the spoils.

              At the same time as we have the EU's chief clerk appointing his successor, he is writing letters (to Putin) as though he were not an unelected civil servant but a head of state in his own right.

              https://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/europe/juncker-putin-russia-reelection-congratulations-positive-relations-eu-president-spy-poisoning-uk-a8264786.html?trk=organization-update-content_share-video-embed_share-article_title

            3. Jamie Jones Silver badge

              Re: The Swiss are in it

              Wish it was just England- and Wales as well, since they voted for it- that were going to have to suffer the consequences,

              Vindictive much? You seem to be under the impression that everybody in Wales voted for BRexit.

              Hint: We didn't. Just like "The UK voted brexit", but some - like you and me - didn't.

          4. Teiwaz Silver badge

            Re: The Swiss are in it

            Now England will pay a price for such self-serving petty politics, and it is anyone's guess how united the kingdom will be when the dust finishes settling.

            England will be England - for all it's foibles and faults, it's the union that's in dire straits, with both Scotland and now Wales straining at the leash, and N.I. - well it's a mess anyway, merely sanguine 'cause the people are fed up of conflict, although unsure why they keep voting the same extremist morons in when it was the middle of the road parties that actually sorted the agreement - I think maybe they've gotten used to their politicos fighting in their own little playpen and staying out of the way.

          5. ToddRundgrensUtopia

            Re: The Swiss are in it

            Free of un-elected bureaucrats. That's a starter for me

            1. Anonymous Coward
            2. Mooseman Silver badge

              Re: The Swiss are in it

              "Free of un-elected bureaucrats"

              Which ones? The ones appointed by our elected governments? Those ones? Or do you mean the EU civil servants, which a re clearly much worse than our own unelected civil servants, right? Looks like you swallowed the UKIP nonsense hook line and sinker.

            3. Alan Johnson

              Re: The Swiss are in it

              @ ToddRundgrensUtopia

              "Free of un-elected bureaucrats. That's a starter for me"

              In what world will leaving the EU leave us free of unelected bureaucrats?

              The numbers are Bureaucrats employed by the EU 46k employed by the UK 332k. Thats right the UK has 7 times more bereaucrats than the whole of the EU. Many of the EU Bureaucrats will have no dealings or impact on the UK at all so once the UK adds civil servants to deal with things the UE dealt with there will almost certainly be a substantial increase over what we have now.

              In terms of 'red tape' I can't point at numbers but I have had to deal with EU and UK regulations and the EU stuff is much shorter and more focussed on what is important and necessary rather than pointless , arbitrary and intrusive like typical UK stuff. The EU also changes and updates regulations less frequently than the UK.

              The idea that leaving the UK woudl lead to a bureaucrat and red tape free nirvarna is total fantasy. The reality will be the opposite.

            4. Jonathan Richards 1
              WTF?

              Re: The Swiss are in it

              >Free of un-elected bureaucrats.

              Good grief, chap, it's like you never watched the documentary series Yes, Minister.

          6. Dr Dan Holdsworth Silver badge

            Re: The Swiss are in it

            The Brexit referendum is the end result of multiple great acts of stupidity from politicians on all sides.

            The EU lot aren't blameless, in that they have viewed Britain as a milch cow to be exploited but largely ignored; the UK lot used the EU as a whipping boy to blame for unpleasant legislation that was necessary and would have been enacted whether the EU was there or not.

            UKIP was always only ever a one-trick pony. The one trick UKIP had was to force a referendum; the way to get shut of UKIP permanently was to give it the referendum it wanted (much as the SNP were given their Scottish Independence referendum to shut them up). The trick to all of this wass to get the EU to give Cameron concessions that sounded big, to convince the electorate that he was looking out for them.

            In all of this, the EU behaved illogically and frankly rather stupidly. When their second-biggest contributor comes to them asking for a favour to help put down some local anti-EU activists, then cooperation should be the order of the day so as to prevent this sort of foolishness breaking out all over the place. Instead of this, Cameron got the cold shoulder treatment and got no concessions at all; the EU put themselves in a position where it was easy to paint them as uncaring, arrogant foreign would-be overlords. There's a section of the population that is xenophobic, jingoist and really loves attacking foreign politicians.

            It was, in effect, absolutely ideal UKIP propaganda material, which they exploited to the full and when "Project Fear" chimed in too strongly, too bluntly and far too late, the idea that the EU were arrogant vermin, the government a bunch of twits and UKIP the party of the common man came to the fore.

            Brexit is happening because two lots of politicians who should've known better made a mess of things, and a few grubby populists didn't.

            1. Alic

              Re: The Swiss are in it

              Except for the fact that the UK is the fourth biggest contributor. A whopping 4 1/2p per person in the EU per day. Hardly a "milch cow" for the EU.

              1. Anonymous Coward
                Anonymous Coward

                Re: The Swiss are in it

                "A whopping 4 1/2p per person in the EU per day."

                I bet the EU rounds it up to 5p a day so they can use the extra 1/2p to pay French workers to take 25 hour lunch breaks. That's why they forced us on pain of death to get rid of our beloved 1/2p coin, just like they did with our blue passports! (#)

                (#) Disclaimer; this may be utter bullshit. As is the bit about them forcing us to get rid of the 1/2p coin- mainly because I made it up two minutes ago.

            2. Lars Silver badge
              Happy

              Re: The Swiss are in it

              So many errors in your comment, Britain is not the second-biggest contributor.

              The EU did not viewed Britain as a milch cow to be exploited but largely ignored*.

              Nor is it true that "Cameron got the cold shoulder treatment and got no concessions at all".

              He did get some concessions, but returning to your claim of "second-biggest contributor" which isn't true, it is "four", it's not how a union could, or should, if democratic, operate.

              What if Germany as the biggest contributor could, whenever, ask for new concessions and get them, not to mention France, the second biggest contributor, should they also be able to have whatever concessions they like because of that.

              Cameron was stabbed in the back, poor boy, still I am fairly sure he is a decent father, husband and human being, but still a hapless boy. With his face and voice he looked less convincing speaking even the truth than both Farage and Boris not to mention JRM in full rubbish mode.

              This is not to say I don't agree with some of your comments.

              * if you really believe that I would claim it's because you, like so many Brits, are just totally unused to cooperate with anybody on equal terms, as that has never been required of you before, it was hard even with the Americans during WW2..

        2. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: The Swiss are in it

          > "That's what Brexit's about."

          I was under the impression that Brexit is about making a bonfire of your workers rights, civil liberty and privacy etc.

          I don't know anyone who actually thinks Brexit is a good idea.

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: The Swiss are in it

            I don't know anyone who actually thinks Brexit is a good idea.

            That's the problem with remoaners, they never leave their comfort zone to hear other opinions.

            1. Reaps

              Re: The Swiss are in it

              "That's the problem with remoaners, they never leave their comfort zone to hear other opinions."

              No we hear them, it's just they are fucking stupid...and not worth the paper they are written on, used toilet paper has more value!.

            2. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

              Re: The Swiss are in it

              "That's the problem with remoaners, they never leave their comfort zone to hear other opinions."

              And then there's the Brexiteer heroes galloping to the rescue to save us from the nasty foreigners, whether we like it or not. Take the blinders of and try to see that many people, on both sides, have their own, differing reasons for how they voted. You need a narrower brush.

        3. Mage Silver badge

          Re: Petty Politics

          Now I understand the hate article about Galileo in one of the UK papers.

          Brexit is also about xenophobia and even many Westminster "Remainers" are anti-European, only seeing the commercial aspects of EU.

      5. pop_corn

        Re: The Swiss are in it

        Agreed, ESA has nothing to do with Brexit. From ESA's own website: https://www.esa.int/About_Us/Welcome_to_ESA/ESA_and_the_EU

        > "The European Union (EU) and ESA share a common aim: to strengthen Europe and benefit its citizens. While they are separate organisations, they are increasingly working together towards common objectives. Some 20 per cent of the funds managed by ESA now originate from the EU budget.

        > "ESA is an intergovernmental organisation, whereas the EU is supranational. The two institutions have indeed different ranges of competences, different Member States and are governed by different rules and procedures."

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: The Swiss are in it

          "ESA is an intergovernmental organisation, whereas the EU is supranational. The two institutions have indeed different ranges of competences, different Member States and are governed by different rules and procedures."

          ---

          Irrelevant.

          The issue is not the ESA, the issue is Galileo.

          There are currently no high accuracy ICBMs or IRBMs or SLBMs without GNSS support. If you don't have your own GNSS, you don't have an independent nuclear capability.

          You do not hand someone else control over your nuclear deterrent.

          When the UK chose to become an external party, participation in Galileo became a nuclear security issue, and thus one of the things that nuclear powers take rather seriously.

          Participation by an external party in any key elements of Galileo became logically and inevitably unacceptable.

          NO ONE should have been surprised by that.

          We haven't even looked at the considerations with respect to other military operations and capabilities, such as GNSS guided bombs and artillery shells, GNSS integrated IFF for ground forces, etc.

        2. Alan Brown Silver badge

          Re: The Swiss are in it

          "ESA is an intergovernmental organisation, whereas the EU is supranational"

          ESA contracts are awarded based on a formula heavily dependent on which country provides what percentage of the funding.

          The UK hasn't been meeting its obligations in this respect for a long time (and the situation has steadily been getting worse) which has meant that contracts have been going to other countries for some time.

          It may be a supranational organisation, but the funding model makes it effectively an EU-controlled organisation.

      6. Sykowasp

        Re: The Swiss are in it

        The Swiss option is not on the table for Brexit negotiations because of Theresa May (and the far-right Brexit mob) and her red lines.

        Leaving the EU, the Single Market and the Customs Union makes us a third party to all these.

        Once the UK goes beyond the point of no return at the end of March next year, we will finally see how the EU treats a third party in negotiations. It won't be pretty for the UK.

      7. Lars Silver badge
        Happy

        Re: The Swiss are in it

        I have no doubt Britain can and will apply to join again but ESA is not just financed by member states but also through the EU budget so things do change with Brexit.

        I would however advice Davis to be a bit more careful with his mouth at home, the other day he was there again with "Britain could refuse to pay EU £40 divorce bill, theoretically,", things like that hardly add to his credibility in the EU.

        I am also fairly convinced he knows the "nothing is agreed before everything is agreed" is true only if both parties agree to change something previously agreed. I suppose he is grinning for the home front as before, though.

        1. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

          Re: The Swiss are in it

          "I have no doubt Britain can and will apply to join again but ESA is not just financed by member states but also through the EU budget so things do change with Brexit."

          Canada is also an ESA member. Just sayin'

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