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. nematoad Silver badge
      Facepalm

      Look on the bright side.

      Perhaps we can use some of the £350 million a week we send to the EU to support our space industry.

      Not looking so good now is it, Mr Farage?

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Look on the bright side.

        Perhaps we can use some of the £350 million a week we send to the EU to support our space industry.

        No, no, no! Don't you remember? That money was earmarked for the NHS!

    2. LDS Silver badge
      Joke

      Are you updating the Big Ben? Add rockets and launch it into space....

    3. Zwuramunga

      Elon Musk

      SpaceX can do it for you at bargain prices.

      1. Jaybus

        Re: Elon Musk

        Please do not distract SpaceX. They are in the process of launching a LEO satellite internet system that will be far more useful than yet another GPS.

    4. Baldrickk Silver badge

      A very big catapult should do it...

      Well I believe that we are the only country to develop orbital capability and then kill it off...

      1. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

        Re: A very big catapult should do it...

        "Well I believe that we are the only country to develop orbital capability and then kill it off..."

        I wonder what sort of funding, if any, Reaction Engines Ltd will get? I can see them upping sticks and moving, lock stock and barrel, to where the money is.

      2. Alan Brown Silver badge

        Re: A very big catapult should do it...

        "we are the only country to develop orbital capability and then kill it off..."

        We actually officially killed it off BEFORE the first launch was achieved.

        The launch was a case of "Well, we've almost completed the job now, so let's go ahead and do it anyway"

    5. boltar Silver badge

      "Never mind. We'll have all that spare cash so we can build our own space programme. A very big catapult should do it..."

      We used to have one. Google blue streak. Cancelled by the usual short sighted politicians who thought sucking up to the USA was a better idea.

      1. Lotaresco

        "We used to have one. Google blue streak. Cancelled by the usual short sighted politicians who thought sucking up to the USA was a better idea."

        Blue Streak continued to fly up until 1972, as the first stage of Europa which was, a bit of usual national politicking aside, pretty much the Farnborough designed Black Prince built by a European consortium. That work lead to Ariane. Effectively, as ever, when faced with relatively modest costs the UK government bailed out before the payback point. A story that can be seen to happen over and over again.

  1. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    "Hopefully not a sign of things to come for the UK space industry"

    doh!

    Of course it is. We are deliberately cutting ourselves off from a huge market right on our doorstep.

    If you work with this stuff in Stevenage (BAE) or even at Surrey Uni in Guildford then you should be wary about making long term plans.

    As for the 'security' reasons... Well it is clear to me that the EU wants to take over European Defence from NATO. Understandable given the behaviour of POTUS.

    Then we will be on our own. Well, we voted for it. We had better get used to this sort of news.

    Good times if you are in the Pan European removal busness though.

    I wonder if the leader of the Opposition will dare say something about this ar PMQ's?

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: "Hopefully not a sign of things to come for the UK space industry"

      If you work with stuff you should be planning to move abroad.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: "Hopefully not a sign of things to come for the UK space industry"

        Re:If you work with stuff you should be planning to move abroad.

        Except the 19th March green-highlighted draft negotiations document seems to have accepted that freedoms to travel and work and have family life ‘abroad’ (EU-MS) stops at midnight end of 2020. [frozen status, you can continue to stay in the country where you are economically active, probably?]

        If you have a language, a masters degree , then you must go now to start establishing rights, you will likely only get a working residence card for a single EU country after a few years of residence. You may need a visa to cross from DK to DE, and another one to then go to AT, and it will need to be a multiple entry, if you need to return.

        Hopefully, some further working rights might be negotiated before October, I think there will remain many job opportunities for skilled UK workers, but the bureaucracy could be a killer.

        I started work in NL in January 1992, on the start of the single market, and things have worked out well.

        Disclaimer: I work for [a small quiet bit of] the EC and have no idea what everyone is up to!

        I’m personally quite neutral on the whole brexit debacle, as since at least the late 1950’s the UK has honestly been politically divided on the level of integration into the whole European project.

        Galileo will be quite important in the future smarter things, if we get them working, and it makes GPS no-longer a single-point of failure. Good luck.

        1. Daniel 18

          Re: "Hopefully not a sign of things to come for the UK space industry"

          "Galileo will be quite important in the future smarter things, if we get them working, and it makes GPS no-longer a single-point of failure. Good luck."

          Most current GPS systems lock to GPS and GLONASS, and would likely keep functioning, with slower lock times, and likely with reduced accuracy, if either failed.

          Looking forward to adding Galileo to the mix! That should reduce location error by more than 66%... my GPS will finally be sure which lane I am in.

        2. Alan Brown Silver badge

          Re: "Hopefully not a sign of things to come for the UK space industry"

          "If you have a language, a masters degree , then you must go now to start establishing rights, you will likely only get a working residence card for a single EU country after a few years of residence."

          Some of the most critical staff in the space arena have neither. Engineering matters just as much as the theory.

    2. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge

      Re: "Hopefully not a sign of things to come for the UK space industry"

      Well it is clear to me that the EU wants to take over European Defence from NATO.

      Given their unwillingness to spend any budget on defence, unwillingness to co-operate with the UK or USA and a process that allows a parish council in Walloonia to veto any decision - pass the popcorn

      1. werdsmith Silver badge

        Re: "Hopefully not a sign of things to come for the UK space industry"

        If you work with this stuff in Stevenage (BAE)

        AIRBUS Defence and Space in Stevenage and Portsmouth.

        or even at Surrey Uni in Guildford

        SSTL at Surrey Research Park. It's off the campus down past Tesco near the student accommodation. It's also part of Airbus Defence and Space. They built Giove-A which was the first Galileo test bird. Giove B was partly built by Stevenage when it was still Astrium.

    3. Stevie Silver badge

      Re: I wonder if the leader of the Opposition will dare say something about this ar PMQ's?

      Neville Swinebucket, Member for Much-Widdling-in-the-Cut:"When will the prime minister next visit her constituency?"

      PM:"I refer my honorable colleague to the answer I gave previously."

      Swinebucket:"I have a follow-up question: Regarding Project Galileo. WTF???!!!???"

      Cries of "Shame! Shame!" from the opposition back bench.

    4. Alan Brown Silver badge

      Re: "Hopefully not a sign of things to come for the UK space industry"

      "If you work with this stuff in Stevenage (BAE) or even at Surrey Uni in Guildford then you should be wary about making long term plans."

      Or at any of the UK's other space science establishments. (MSSL, RAL, Harwell, etc)

      The future of most ESA-partnered programs appears doubtful, despite soothing noises from Whitehall. The UK has been felt to be laggardly in its contributions for a long time and this is a perfect opportunity to get rid of it. The academics can easily find work elsewhere but engineering staff are a lot harder to replace or rehome and their knowledge plus experience is absolutely critical. Lose them and you put things back 20+ years.

    5. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: "Hopefully not a sign of things to come for the UK space industry"

      >As for the 'security' reasons... Well it is clear to me that the EU wants to take over European Defence from NATO.

      The EU might want the power and the glory, or at least the money. I had hoped people had not forgotten already how EU reacted to the Balkans war: total paralysis until the US and Russia moved in on what essentially is the European back yard. We need not repeat the jokes about French war heroes but we might consider EU war heroes. And before anyone starts mounting their high horse of outrageousness, please remember Srebrenica.

      >Understandable given the behaviour of POTUS.

      That is a thin excuse about one US president who will be out of office at the latest in 7 years.

      1. Mooseman Bronze badge

        Re: "Hopefully not a sign of things to come for the UK space industry"

        "how EU reacted to the Balkans war: total paralysis until the US and Russia moved in "

        The EU is not a military power. Nor is it bent on world domination. Next?

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: "Hopefully not a sign of things to come for the UK space industry"

        "That is a thin excuse about one US president who will be out of office at the latest in 7 years."

        Seven years is a long time. The fact alone that the US *chose* to elect a guy like Trump- knowing what he was like in advance (or intentionally ignoring that)- is bad enough. This also ignores that it's quite possible they'd elect someone else along similar lines after his second term- maybe even one of his odious sons, who knows?

        Or maybe not, but regardless, it sends out the signal that the US is no longer as reliable or as stable an ally as it once might have been, and people need to plan accordingly.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: "Hopefully not a sign of things to come for the UK space industry"

          "This also ignores that it's quite possible they'd elect someone else along similar lines"

          Entirely possible. I just read that he is more popular now than Obama was at the same point in his first term.

          There are a lot of people in the US who like what he says*, and additional millions who regard him as a necessary evil, given the alternatives. In another ten years, we may have enough information to judge.

          It was clear by the time the primaries were winding down that there would be no good choices available.

          *note that a lot of Americans don't understand the real world any better than a lot of British politicians... they just make different mistakes.

  2. illuminatus

    #headdesk

    Hello, Mr Desk. Meet Mr Head.

    Hello, Mr Head Meet Mr Desk.

    Repeat until clinically braindead. At which point you can get a job in the the DExEU.

    You'd *almost* think some people loudly reminded these simians what was likely to happen if they started down this road, and they put their hands over their ears and shouted "la la la blue passports!"

    1. Voland's right hand Silver badge

      Re: #headdesk

      Repeat until clinically braindead

      There is an easier way. It is known as the Münchhausen syndrome.

      1. Jemma Silver badge

        Re: #headdesk

        New ICD entry?

        Munchhausens by Pillock?

        Incidental fact. A certain Aileen Philby suffered from Munchhausens. Can you guess who her husband was?

        Bonus question: why did she loathe a Jewish woman called Litzi?

    2. Ian 7

      Re: #headdesk

      "la la les passeports bleu!", surely ? :)

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: #headdesk

      ...which are being made in France.

      I think I actually cackled when I read that first

      1. John H Woods Silver badge

        Re: #headdesk

        Sneak preview of new French made blue passport.

        1. Nick Kew Silver badge

          Re: #headdesk

          Well, we now have a company with the classic anglo-saxon name "De La Rue" throwing a tantrum because it is (probably) not getting a free hand to name its price from the UK taxpayer. Something of the Ryanair business model.

          Didn't the old passports have some kind of inspirational slogan on? "Dieu et mon Droit" springs to mind.

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: #headdesk

            throwing a tantrum because it is (probably) not getting a free hand to name its price from the UK taxpayer.

            No, it's throwing a fit because the French wouldn't give it their passport business on the grounds of "national security", yet UK civil servants are happy to give the UK's business to a French company.

            Either "national security" is a problem (which I doubt) and the UK should not be going to France, or this is just French protectionism-as-usual, in which case we shouldn't be supporting them.

            Either way there are some civil servants that need their collective arse kicked.

            1. Anonymous Coward
              Anonymous Coward

              Re: #headdesk

              >No, it's throwing a fit because the French wouldn't give it their passport business on the grounds of "national security", yet UK civil servants are happy to give the UK's business to a French company.

              >Either "national security" is a problem (which I doubt) and the UK should not be going to France, or this is just French protectionism-as-usual, in which case we shouldn't be supporting them.

              >Either way there are some civil servants that need their collective arse kicked.

              Except the French still produce their passports in-house, so can do them how they want. We outsourced the printing of passports (IIRC in 1996 with the privatization of the stationary office). Once outsourced, the government has two options - insource (against the Tory dogma) or put the contract up for competitive tender.

              And those rules that make us put things up for tender... they originally come from the WTO.

              1. Anonymous Coward
                Anonymous Coward

                Re: #headdesk

                Re: National Security problem related to secure biometric passports.

                There was a transient and speculative news item in a minor security journal that postulated the wild rumour that a large antipodean country was contracted to produce the ePass for North Korean officials, 200K of 'em.

                The heinous article suggested, obviously falsely, that 200K + "n" were produced instead, with the overproduction being handed to the highly trustworthy(*) South Korean intelligence service.

                This lead, to the possibility, not a probability, that agents of the South could do something, anything, drastic somewhere, anywhere - yet leave a valid digital secure biometric NORK trail. (probably NOT this event? **)

                Presumably UK doesnt do False Flags, or suffer from an opponent, any opponent, being able to do the same to blighty. Hence we can outsource our secure biometric documents to the lowest bidder on the planet. All highly conjecturous and probably made up, but . . .?

                (*)https://www.theguardian.com/world/2017/aug/04/south-koreas-spy-agency-admits-trying-rig-election-national-intelligence-service-2012

                (**)https://www.reuters.com/article/us-northkorea-malaysia-kim-court/nerve-agent-vx-found-on-shirts-of-women-accused-of-n-korean-murder-expert-says-idUSKBN1CA0UI

    4. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Vermin

      You mean the same blue passports that the UK *could* have retained *if* it hadn't made the choice of its own volition to use the standardised but non-mandated EU format ?

      You mean blue passports like the ones that Croatia- an EU member- has? You mean the blue-coloured passports that were imposed on "us" by the League of Nations in the first place?

      The ones that it was obvious the lying scum who chose to play political football with the future of the UK over such trivialities were going to use as their flag-bearer for "taking back control", even though it was "our" own f*****g choice in the first place?

      Yeah, I thought so.

      I'd like to be able to make a joke about where they should have their newly-manufactured blue passports inserted once they're shipped over from France, but frankly there's nothing funny about any of this any more.

      1. JimBlueMK

        Re: Vermin

        I heard that the UK used to produce its passports itself through a taxpayer owned company which the Govt of the day sold off.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Vermin

          I heard that the UK used to produce its passports itself through a taxpayer owned company which the Govt of the day sold off.

          ------

          Well, you can't expect them to get everything wrong.

        2. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

          Re: Vermin

          "I heard that the UK used to produce its passports itself through a taxpayer owned company which the Govt of the day sold off."

          And continued to do so for some time after the sale. Try looking up the circumstances of the re-letting of the contract. It's ....interesting.

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Vermin

        You're implying the public got taken for a ride?

        By their own British politicians?

        Are they stupid?

        Sacre bleu!

        That's the first time that's happened.

    5. Mooseman Bronze badge

      Re: #headdesk

      "la la la blue passports!"

      Made in France... I've nearly stopped laughing about that. Nearly.

  3. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Being positive

    It's not easy but...

    If there's nothing about this in the current transition plan, then we might be able to hold onto a few crumbs by making sure we make the right noises in the negotiations for the post-Brexit relationship.

    But I wouldn't put money on it.

    1. Voland's right hand Silver badge

      Re: Being positive

      What plan? There is a plan?

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Being positive

        What plan? There is a plan?

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

        The current plan seems to be pick a fantasy, and keep asking for it and telling people you will get it for them, until you absolutely have to accept that you won't get it, declare a victory, then pick another fantasy.

        Also, never, ever pay attention to reality until it manages to mug you in a dark meeting room.

      2. Tom 7 Silver badge

        Re: Being positive

        Of course there's a plan. But it has to be kept secret from everybody in case it upsets our negotiating position.

        1. Lars Silver badge
          Happy

          Re: Being positive

          "Of course there's a plan. But it has to be kept secret from everybody in case it upsets our negotiating position."

          Best comment so far.

    2. Pascal Monett Silver badge

      Re: the post-Brexit relationship

      It's easy to find out how that will go : just look at any divorce where the guy walks out on the faithful woman.

      First, there will be the shouting about how unfair it all is, with the EU reminding the UK that it's its own fault (current step in progress).

      Then there will be petty revenge and pathetic pleas to "let me in just this one time", which will be denied (as they should be).

      Over time, there will come the chilling realization that you're on your own now, deal with it.

      Whether that realization will come under a bridge with a bottle, or in a new appartment - well, time will tell.

      1. Phil O'Sophical Silver badge

        Re: the post-Brexit relationship

        <i.It's easy to find out how that will go : just look at any divorce where the guy walks out on the faithful woman.</i>

        Except that in this case there wasn't a faithful woman any more, just the in-laws who never wanted the marriage in the first place. Right now they're refusing access to the children, but those children will grow up and have their own opinons.

      2. Chris G Silver badge

        Re: the post-Brexit relationship

        @Pascal "Whether that realization will come under a bridge with a bottle, or in a new appartment - well, time will tell."

        Often, when that point is reached the desperate bloke goes to a singles club or somewhere equally dreadful and picks up anyone lacking knicker elastic, who is willing to accept a drink.

        What does that bode for the UK?

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: the post-Brexit relationship

          "What does that bode for the UK?"

          Being shafted by Donald for starters...

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: the post-Brexit relationship

            @AC "Being shafted by Donald for starters..."

            And the Spanish, French, Germans and anyone else who chucked out Russian diplomats recently.

            No such thing as a free lunch, especially where "allies" are concerned.

        2. eldakka Silver badge

          Re: the post-Brexit relationship

          The UK will have to turn to stripping - at least it's not prostitution.

          That is until some rich creep offers enough money to go home with them - just this once!. it'll be enough money to change their life, to stop stripping and live a good life.

          Or so they tell themselves, but they go back to stripping anyway. And when the next creep offers them money, even tho it's less this time, they'll go home with him to. And since the money is less, they'll do it again, until they turn to full blown prostitution, probably entering the porn industry to do films.

          And when that happens, they'll have to put out for powerful people, like Donald Trump.

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