back to article Blighty: We spent £1bn on Galileo and all we got was this lousy T-shirt

There were heated exchanges at Parliament's Defence and European Scrutiny Committee this week as members attempted to get the Minister for Defence Procurement, Stuart Andrew, to put a figure on the cost of the Galileo project. Andrew did not have the number to hand, which prompted Mark Francois MP to splutter: "Oh come on, …

Anonymous Coward

You realize the "second vote" "campaign" is being lead by billionaires such as Rupert Murdoch and people who want "ordinary scum" to HAVE to take minimum wage or be outcompeted by 10s of millions of desperate people right?

2 years of ghost stories by mass media corporations controlled directly by their overlords.

8
36
Silver badge
Unhappy

I seem to remember that someone said "Leave means leave" ... nobody mentioned Galileo during the referendum campaign ... think of Galileo as being just another water cannon, we can sell our contribution off for scrap in a couple of years.

13
0
Silver badge

That's actually the reverse of the truth.

Murdoch's papers are totally pro-leave (Sun etc.) Rees-Mogg, Rich. Dyson. Rich. Johnson, hardly a struggling pauper, writing columns for the papers about why we need to leave....The list goes on.

19
0

Well....

"I really wish El Reg would let Tim Worstall re-explain his rainbows and unicorns once again in a guest article. Smart guy, but one wonders in this case."

I just think the EU is a terrible system which no one should belong to, let alone us. Entirely an arguable idea but that's where it all stems from. Centralised control of the lives of 500 million people just doesn't seem to work for me.

Chacon a son gout, obviously.

2
2
TRT
Silver badge

I reckon...

it's still cheaper than HS2.

18
2
Silver badge

Meh

On the plus side we dont get ripped off by the EU for any of their other ideas. I am glad to hear one MP is challenging if building our own is worth it.

7
22
Silver badge
FAIL

Re: Meh

We only got ripped off if the taxes and jobs it created added up to less than 1bn worth of benefit to the UK economy. I suspect we did rather well out of it.

23
1
Anonymous Coward

Re: Meh

> We only got ripped off if the taxes and jobs it created added up to less than 1bn worth of benefit to the UK economy. I suspect we did rather well out of it.

That is an interesting issue and I have never seen anyone document it. Can you?

8
0
Anonymous Coward

Re: Meh

'That is an interesting issue and I have never seen anyone document it. Can you?'

Well if you read the article you will see the author eludes to it. Then all you have to do is investigate a little further. That way you can assuage your interest, if that interest is real, most genuinely inquisitive people do that.

8
3

Re: Meh

Elude or allude?

15
1
Silver badge

Re: Meh

"I am glad to hear one MP is challenging if building our own is worth it."

If results are more accurate when you have more data points, are we reaching the stage that there will be so many SatNav beacons in the sky that a good box with the relevant receivers and the right software can't get a highly accurate position using the jittery public signals?

8
0
Silver badge

Re: Meh

The right software, with additional sources for refining the tuning of the model, is the key. One of the more interesting development projects I was involved with in the military was around this.

5
0

Re: Meh

If that's true then it sounds like a great model for Britain-EU cooperation going forward then. You guys pay and build the satellites, and we'll just keep them. I can totally support that.

But somehow I doubt you "did rather well out of it".

1
1
Anonymous Coward

Re: Meh

An inexpensive automotive GPS, maybe 7 years old, gets 3m accuracy in a minute or two using GPS and GLONASS, at about 45 degrees North, which is probably north of the optimal zone.

0
0
Silver badge

Porcine aviation

'Yeah let's leave the EU an' everything will be great again!'

That was really well thought through wasn't it?

32
7
Anonymous Coward

Re: Porcine aviation

At least we don't have to disband the Royal Navy, armed forced and RAF under the one-state one-army plan officially announced by the EU anyway. So thats a positive eh?

pre-referendum "no federal states of Europe, plz stay"...post referendum: "We lied...one army for all of Europe and centralized EU control over EVERY aspect of defence without a veto"

7
44
Bronze badge

Re: Porcine aviation

NATO minus America is hardly "one state one army".

It's also one less stick the Americans can use to beat us with

12
2
Silver badge

Re: Porcine aviation

EU army is not something that could happen if the members don't agree to it. And the 27 are not agreeing to it, in any shape of form ( even if some might, to save money). Every EU country will have some sticking points that they won't let the EU agree to. And there are plenty that won't agree to an EU controlled army. We aren't quite as exceptional as you think we are.

15
3

Re: Porcine aviation

It's never going to happen in any case, it is nonsense from the Brexiteers. No, nothing has been officially announced, finding a couple of random eurocrats vaguely musing the possibility does not amount to official policy statements.

On the other hand we had already negotiated ourselves out of ever closer union. Also consider the nations remaining in the EU. On the one hand you have a nuclear power and multiple NATO members. On the other hand you have the likes of Ireland with a constitutional commitment to neutrality. You can't negotiate away such divergent attitudes and the proposal inevitably fails there.

14
4
Silver badge

Re: Porcine aviation

At least we don't have to disband the Royal Navy, armed forced and RAF under the one-state one-army plan officially announced

Ah yes - the old "unofficially announced" ploy. As in "I ate too much cheese one night and dreamed it"..

(And the UK has a veto in the EU - so anything that *we* don't want isn't going to happen..)

2
1
Rol
Silver badge

It'll be like decimalisation all over again, but spelt decimation due to a shortage of letters.

Well, I've transitioned through the various stages of shock and am now fully accepting of the reality to come. And in true British spirit will embrace the chaos to come as an opportunity.

My double bed is currently three feet higher than usual. Propped up with 500 tins of baked beans, corned beef and sardines.

I've emptied my immersion heater and disabled all the hot water taps so I could fill the system with Lambrusco Bianco.

Come brexit, I'll be trading the necessities of life to the plebs that voted for this once in a lifetime foot shooting through a steel hatch, that I'll be completing over the coming months.

Nothing like a disaster to line the pockets of those with the sense to see it coming.

34
3
Anonymous Coward

Re: It'll be like decimalisation all over again, but spelt decimation due to a shortage of letters.

"Nothing like a disaster to line the pockets of those with the sense to see it coming."

You mean like Brexit supporter Nigel Lawson who has applied for a French residence permit to continue living in his house in France.

People who will benefit are those rich enough to increase their stakes in the investment banking industry. Their wet dream is a "Singapore" UK - with deregulation of anything that currently protects the rights of ordinary people. Now who do we know with that profile?

22
2
JLV
Silver badge

Re: It'll be like decimalisation all over again, but spelt decimation due to a shortage of letters.

>investment banking industry

think again. I suspect a large part of the UKs attractiveness as a financial center is being an EU member. No doubt, the really big cheese won’t be suffering with the little people. But i’d be surprised if a large proportion of British investment bankers didn’t get shafted out of this. Yes, yes, they may not be all sympathetic but they pay taxes and spend money.

EU bankers can head towards whichever city takes London’s place. Probably a net loss for the EU, but nowhere as dramatic.

11
4

Re: It'll be like decimalisation all over again, but spelt decimation due to a shortage of letters.

Because Britain has never been powerful on its own right? ever?

We're a tiny little island with the 5th largest economy on the planet. Doesn't that tell you something?

Also the fact the EU BEGGED and PLEADED for the referendum to be scrapped. They need us more than we need them, but they're like an abusive boyfriend.

"if you leave me, YOU'll be the one thats sorry, you're just not GOOD enough to live without me!" <sob>

8
42
Silver badge

Re: It'll be like decimalisation all over again, but spelt decimation due to a shortage of letters.

And Rees-Mogg (Mr. Hedge Fund) whose father wrote the book on profiting from disaster. etc.

11
1
Silver badge

Re: It'll be like decimalisation all over again, but spelt decimation due to a shortage of letters.

No. UK was powerful and independent when it was able to control trade with its colonies. You can't build a country on history. The world has changed. A lot. Fifth strongest economy, yes, because we are part of the EU. You need to join some dots.

29
2

This post has been deleted by its author

Re: It'll be like decimalisation all over again, but spelt decimation due to a shortage of letters.

“We're a tiny little island with the 5th largest economy on the planet.”

Mainly thanks to the EU free trade zone.

Before we joined, the UK had become an economic basket case, on the verge of seeking an IMF bailout. Then we joined the EC and it’s transformed our country for the better.

27
2
Gold badge
Unhappy

"Nothing like a disaster to line the pockets of those with the sense to see it coming."

Especially if you advocated it in the first place, with a pretty good idea of what would happen.

If this were actions aimed against the nation they would be called traitors.

7
1
Silver badge

Re: It'll be like decimalisation all over again, but spelt decimation due to a shortage of letters.

You mean like Brexit supporter Nigel Lawson who has applied for a French residence permit to continue living in his house in France.

No. I mean the like of Mogg which own major stakes in investment funds and other vehicles which have invested heavily in office properties and the office real estate boom in Dublin, Sofia, Bucharest, Plovdiv and elsewhere in (mostly Eastern) Europe. Billions are being made by servicing the financial rats jumping the sinking ship HMS City of London.

Compared to them Nigel Lawson and his French residence permit is a minor joke.

5
3
Silver badge

Re: It'll be like decimalisation all over again, but spelt decimation due to a shortage of letters.

>We're a tiny little island with the 5th largest economy on the planet.

I think you'll find we've slipped down that scale somewhat. On some measures, India has a bigger economy than us.

Yes, we used to be number one - but that was when we could 'trade' behind a huge army & navy. I don't think our salesmen can get away with shooting the competition, these days.

10
2
Anonymous Coward

Re: It'll be like decimalisation all over again, but spelt decimation due to a shortage of letters.

"I've emptied my immersion heater and disabled all the hot water taps so I could fill the system with Lambrusco Bianco."

Why on earth would you do that when you could have used a passable red and added some cinnamon, star anise, cloves, lemon zest and sugar and had mulled wine on tap?

4
0
Silver badge

Re: It'll be like decimalisation all over again, but spelt decimation due to a shortage of letters.

Then we joined the EC and it’s transformed our country for the better.

Shh.. don't blow their minds with actual facts from actual history. Admittedly, it would be a small explosion..

(I'm convinced most brexiteers have forgotten the 1970's and, in their minds, we go directly from 1940 to 2018..)

6
1
Rol
Silver badge

Re: It'll be like decimalisation all over again, but spelt decimation due to a shortage of letters.

"Why on earth would you do that when you could have used a passable red and added some cinnamon, star anise, cloves, lemon zest and sugar and had mulled wine on tap?"

Pandering to my potential customers tastes. I myself will be quaffing the usual Bushmills, which wouldn't be best suited to a Whiskey Galore storage option.

0
0

Whilst some here will agree the Brexit and some do not, what I do not understand is why some people seem to think that it is right to punish the UK. The UK like any other nation is free to chose to self determination. Being a member of the EU has benefits and also has costs associated with those benefits.

The EU's action in seeking to "Punish" the UK is wholly unjustified. They should respect the decision of the people and move forward with sensible trade agreement. The UK is not asking for favours just respect. If the EU wants to impose tariffs in the UK, then the UK should reciprocate, however I think that it is probably in both entities interests to agree a free trade agreement.

With regards to Galileo it is clear that the EU wishes to punish the UK and does not wish to reach a sensibe agreement even if it is in the EU's interest to do so.

9
41

Galileo punishment

"With regards to Galileo it is clear that the EU wishes to punish the UK and does not wish to reach a sensibe agreement even if it is in the EU's interest to do so."

There is no desire for punishment, this is just a case of the UK applying a gun to its own foot.

Very simple explanation: Galileo is a sort of club. One of the rules of the club, agreed to by all members and first proposed by the UK is that non-members don't have access. Now one of the members (UK) is cancelling its membership. Sorry to see you go, but your choice. By the way, do you still remember that rule about non-members not having access? Sorry to say, but it will also apply to you.

Most of the rest of the actions you see as punishment are the logical consequences of similar rules and situations. Either reverse the decision to leave or deal with the consequences, your choice.

51
6

It is a fact of life that in any negotiation there will always be a stronger and a weaker party.

If both parties were equal then there would be no requirement for negotiation as both parties can just walk away on an equal footing.

Sadly in the majority of cases, upon failing to get exactly what they want, the weaker party generally resorts to claiming victimisation with suggestions of punishment, bullying, arrogance or calls for respect from the other party. It really is a last ditch strategy, an emotional response that means nothing in the real world. The fact that it is regularly called by the Brexiteers is just a reflection of how strategically clueless they are.

Reality is hard, the gap between what you want and what you get is wide, no amount of name calling will change that.

Negotiation relies on some form of leverage. When you haven't got anything the other party wants, which it can’t easily replace elsewhere, you are screwed.

We have three choices -

a. We accept the deal May is given.

b. We stop the process, try to salvage our dignity and resume trying to democratically influence the EU more towards the UK’s point of view.

c. We walk away, take the huge hit, stop whining like babies, and spend the next few decades being the bitch of multiple trading blocs while we try to set up favourable deals with them.

That is the way we can exercise our right to self determination….

37
5

This post has been deleted by its author

JLV
Silver badge

>b. We stop the process, try to salvage our dignity and resume trying to democratically influence the EU more towards the UK’s point of view.

As much as I am pretty relaxed about immigration myself, not everyone is. It bears remembering that, when Greece, Portugal, Spain joined the EU, in 1982, there was a 10 year moratorium on allowing full free immigration into/from those 3 countries.

In hindsight, it would have been more sensible for the EU to apply the same kind of transition period to Eastern European countries. Or indeed any new member with a sufficiently big GDP difference.

Didn’t happen. Brexit was a bait and switch but the EUs bureaucracy will need to reassess its our way or the highway attitude towards its _member_ states. The ratification referendums for the constitution being another clusterf***. Ditto the pointless insistence on metric system precedence. Or curly bananas.

Subsidiarity was a very useful UK-sourced principle, IMHO.

None of this really makes Brexit any less of a self goal 8-/

5
8

It's worth remembering who was a strong advocate for allowing eastern European nations into the EU. Yes, our dear old UK.

Funny old world, and every nation gets its own moment under the spotlight with its pants around its ankles.

32
0

There is no "punishment" being handed out here. If you join a club, that membership comes with costs and benefits you receive in return for your membership fee. If you decide to cease being a member, you stop paying those costs and you cease receiving the benefits. Would you complain you were being punished if you decided to cancel your gym membership and they wouldn't let you continue to use their Jacuzzi? If you stopped paying for health insurance after years and thousands of pounds of membership, would you consider it unfair or disrespectful they wouldn't give you treatment if you got sick after you left?

We were instrumental in writing the Galileo rules. We knew they contained a provision that non-EU members can't have military-grade access to or perform work on the service. When we triggered Article 50, it was entirely predictable that we would lose access to the system as non-members. Those of us who repeated pointed things such as this out were howled down as "Project Fear" or "unpatriotic."

This whole "punishment" argument makes me quite angry. Vocal parts of the Brexit movement told the people that we were so special that the EU would bend over to give us a wonderful deal when the EU, quite honestly, said from day one that no non-member deal could ever be as good as a member deal. I have had to close the business I spent 25 years nurturing because I can't get anyone to sign contracts for performing work on the continent when I can't promise I will be able to fulfill them going forward and the customers were looking for long term business relationships. The orders dried up as soon as the referendum result was announced. I am angry that those who convinced the people that a better deal would be available are now using talk of "punishment" to try to avoid responsibility by effectively saying, "It's the EU's fault they won't give you what we said you could have. Not ours."

Business moves cost money and take time. Big businesses, unable to get the certainty they wanted that they weren't going to be hugely impacted by Brexit, have already started moving jobs and the money that goes with them abroad. It's the sensible course of action for any large company faced with a significant business threat. They need to make moving decisions in time to get the move done before the threat materializes. Because of the time and money moves cost, once those jobs are gone, they're not coming back.

36
3
Silver badge

Re: Galileo punishment

And the general point. The EU 27 are not doing any punishing. They are just keeping to their rules. It's the European Union. .

If you leave the gym club you can't still keep your stuff in the lockers.

26
2
Silver badge

Beautiful summarisation.

7
0
Silver badge

Another myth, I'm afraid. We already have the right to send EU citizens home if they don't meet residence requirements. We chose not to apply these rules.Because these EU citizens pay far more into the economy that they get out. These are all published facts and figures.

20
1

Ah, yet another Cakeist!

2
1

10 year moratorium?

Yes, there WAS one agreed for Poland’s and Baltic States entry which Germany and other countries kept to but for which a certain country negotiated yet another get out clause; guess who?!

Yep, Britain!

We invited them in straight away! Ireland too. It was good for business, remember?! Sod the other impacts.

We’ve had so many get out clauses, we’ve done excellently out of the EU, now we’re throwing it all away.

Collective insanity.

19
2
JLV
Silver badge

don’t misunderstand me on this. letting in Eastern Europe was the right thing to do. 100% and if anything, Putin’s nastiness only reinforces that. For them, but also for the previous EU core.

i’m not even sure a 10 yr freedom of people movement moratorium would have been good. But it was a policy decision at the time and it did allow those 3 countries to build up their economies gradually, dialing down the motivation to seek better opportunities elsewhere in the EU once full liberalization was reached.

The EU is a great club, but, when reasonable, it needs to be more sensitive about national preferences and perception. Subsidiarity being key here.

Pressuring the Piss folk in Poland and Viktor Orban not to become lil Trumps against human rights? Good. Need more of that. Setting banana curvature? Bureaucracy gone amok and recruiting poster for big Borises. Getting Italy back in line on their budget, to avoid another Greek bailout? Much, much, needed because the risks outweigh national prerogatives.

As to Galileo, purely on military self-interest, the EU should have found a way to keep the most capable European army integrated. The rest of Brexit negotiations however? Well, they’ve got the leverage and very little incentive to cut a sweetheart deal encouraging future xxxexit movements. They got you by the balls.

Too bad the Borises and Ress-Moggs didn’t see that coming or just managed to pull wool over the eyes of the more clever Leave voters. Yes, they exist, and Remains need to gently convince that constituency to reconsider in light of all the hollow promises.

btw One brilliant thing the Federal government here did, late 90s, fought tooth and nail by the Quebec separatists, was to force future leave referendums to have a clear Leave or Stay question. They can’t just fudge something harmless sounding. Wasn’t the issue with the actual Brexit vote wording, but it sure was with previous Quebec referendums.

6
2
Silver badge

>The EU's action in seeking to "Punish" the UK...

...is entirely mythical. There hasn't been any interest in 'punishing the UK' - that's Daily Mail talk.

They've driven a tough bargain, sure - but why wouldn't they?

7
3
Thumb Up

Leaving the Gym Club

That is a fantastic analogy too - have you ever tried to leave a Gym?

Brexit is just the same - when will we get to cancel the direct debit (it seems not until Dec 2020 at the earliest at this rate)????

1
1
Gold badge
Trollface

"what I do not understand is why some people seem to think that it is right to punish the UK"

Because you are

a) A troll?

b) A delusional f**kwit?

6
1

Page:

POST COMMENT House rules

Not a member of The Register? Create a new account here.

  • Enter your comment

  • Add an icon

Anonymous cowards cannot choose their icon

Biting the hand that feeds IT © 1998–2018