back to article Space policy boffin: Blighty can't just ctrl-C, ctrl-V plans for Galileo into its Brexit satellite

Space policy expert Dr Bleddyn Bowen, of the University of Leicester, has told The Register that the UK faces considerably more hurdles replacing Galileo than just coughing £92m of "Brexit readiness" readies for a feasibility study on a homegrown version. The good Doctor's comments are timely, as the British government snuck …

  1. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    92 million?

    Medium Earth Orbit Unicorns.

    1. werdsmith Silver badge

      Re: 92 million?

      Haha Brexit Britain. We are a nation of twats. World class twats, but twats nonetheless.

      Face up to our twattishness, own it and be proud.

      But WTF does this mean - quote: "And the Brits, of course, love a rule."?? By my experience we detest them. Was the writer being ironic?

      1. Jellied Eel Silver badge

        Re: 92 million?

        Yeh, twats.

        So Sutherland space port.. why? Other than a jolly for their regional development agency. And the UK's being booted out of Gallileo because it's EU members only. Unless the US gets access, then the UK's left on the naughty step for defying Brussels. And then there's the spirit of future military co-operation with the EU military that we were assured wasn't a plan.

        And then there's perhaps a few questions being asked about the cost of kitting everyone out with Gallileo vs the actual need for 1cm accuracy.

      2. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

        Re: 92 million?

        "But WTF does this mean - quote: "And the Brits, of course, love a rule."?? By my experience we detest them. Was the writer being ironic?"

        There are rules to queuing and you'd better not be the one to break them! If you do, be prepared for some very nasty stares and maybe even some muttering under the breath!!

        Maybe "Love" wasn't the correct term :-)

        1. werdsmith Silver badge

          Re: 92 million?

          Have you ever seen a queue at a bar in an English pub?

          1. John Brown (no body) Silver badge
            Thumb Up

            Re: 92 million?

            The exception that proves the rule? :-)

  2. Jonathan Richards 1
    Joke

    Spexit!

    We don't need no stinkin' ITU; we'll stop subscribing to the Common Electromagnetic Spectrum and take back control! We just need someone to rewrite Maxwell's equations; the best minds must be able to do that, when they've finished with the Secure Backdoor Encryption project.

    1. YetAnotherAnonymousCoward!

      Re: Spexit!

      Ignoring the political shenanigans for a moment. Can we not just use the same spectrum as Galileo but use different encryption for the military aspect? We were part of the Galileo approach and you can argue the spectrum is as much ours as EUs.

      Admittedly, the EU would get an extra 24ish satellites to boost it's coverage for free, but our military will not be dependent on the wider Galileo EU encrypted signal in case of war. We can then use the same design as we have at the moment...

      I like "Newton" as a name if we end up with a GPS.

      1. Voland's right hand Silver badge

        Re: Spexit!

        Ignoring the political shenanigans for a moment.

        You should not. And you should not ignore geography.

        Galileo as a military asset is geared for a conflict with EU latitudes. It sucks royally very far up North and far down South. The satellites are in relatively low inclinations and end up very low over the horizon so even a minimal Aurora Borealis (or Australis) knocks the signal out. +/- some help from any of the suspects operating at that latitude.

        With the Arctic melting to a point where the French can sail with flying colours from Brest to Tokio (as one of their Navy ships did this summer without asking for Russian permission), having a 11Bn asset that cannot cover that region is in the realm of lunacy (OK, I know, so is everything BrExit related anyway). That is what is needed to be designed and it is not likely to end up being GPS, Gallileo or GLONASS compatible.

        As far as the rest of the world, let's face it - if the situation is such that ALL OF GPS, Gallileo, GLONASS and BeiDou are not available, the likelihood of "your own" system being alive is very slim.

        1. Justthefacts

          Re: Spexit!

          Hurray! A bit of engineering amidst the “Brexit must be bad” stuff.

          So, our involvement in EU Galileo gave us:

          1) Access to the military signal (civilian everyone gets anyway)

          2) In cases confined to a European theatre of war. So, out of the wars we have been involved in recently, this would have helped in: Afghanistan, no. Iraq, no. Syria, no. Going back a bit - Somalia, no. Falkands, no. Aden, no. Serbia maybe, except see below actually still no.

          3) But, since we don’t have it, as a member of NATO we get the USA GPS codes unless the USA refuse to support. So, this investment allows us to prosecute a war within Europe, in which the United States is at least neutral (so, not against Russia then).

          4) A war not against any of the other EU27 (which excludes a Serbia type conflict) or a civil war. Or, is that what you want it for? A suppression of Catalonian nationalism for example? If that is it, please let’s get it out in the open and discuss.

          Please could any of the expected downvoting Remainers, outline just ONE scenario that this actually fulfils a need?

          1. Rich 11 Silver badge

            Re: Spexit!

            Please could any of the expected downvoting Remainers, outline just ONE scenario that this actually fulfils a need?

            You're asking the wrong people. You need to be asking the UK military why they thought 15 years ago that Galileo was a good idea. It's not as though they even had the example of the Mango Mussolini in the White House at the time.

            1. tfb Silver badge
              Terminator

              Re: Spexit!

              I think it's been apparent for really a long time to anyone thinking hard about it that there might be cases where we can't completely rely on the US. For examples of this you only have to read about the code-breaking efforts in the second war: we did end up mostly getting on with them but it was by no means always clear that we would. And, of course, people planning these sorts of things probably do think in terms of 'what if they elect a fascist ape?' in just the same way they probably worry about whether we might elect some kind of pinko liberal communist sympathiser (which they would spell 'PINKO LIBRUL COMMIE' I expect).

              Quite apart from this redundancy is good: what if some bad person compromises the GPS satellites? Would it then be good to, you know, have some other ones which we could still use?

              1. Justthefacts

                Re: Spexit!

                Nor can we rely on the EU. For example, while the US refused to support us in the Falklands, the French actively refused to give us the Exocet codes, resulting in huge loss of life.

                Political risk exists *either way*.

                So, I propose to plan for a world that matches the history of the last fifty years or so. Which is-

                A bunch of small conflicts, where there is mostly but not completely multilateral agreement. But certainly no threat of active US GPS denial.

                Plus a continuation of Cold War tensions and proxy wars, where the US will be on the same side. Not necessarily prepared to defend us though. But the US is certainly more likely to be actively involved on the U.K. behalf, than trying to defend the indefensible like EU27 including Hungary and Poland.

                Your scenario is that some Bond villain compromises the United States most highly protected military asset, an act of war, and instant annihilation for any nation trying it. Not realistic.

                1. Anonymous Coward
                  Anonymous Coward

                  Bond's villains vs Dr Strangelove?

                  "some Bond villain compromises the United States most highly protected military asset, an act of war, and instant annihilation for any nation trying it. Not realistic."

                  Where have you been the last decade or five?

                  The villains are in charge, and certainly have been since the days of the Project for a New American Century, maybe earlier, Cheney, Rumsfeld, and Wolfowitz served in the Bush administration - this seems like an appropriate time to remember them as well as GWB, and to remember that Blair was happy to support the US ventures in Iraq with a "blood sacrifice" (not their blood, obviously).

                  Sometimes the villains are in the back rooms, sometimes in view if you know where to look, sometimes these days they're wittering away in full public view.

                2. MJI Silver badge

                  Re: France

                  They played both sides

                  https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/magazine-17256975

                  But they did help us by giving us info on French sold kit.

                  But most were stopped by simple British intelligence agency capability.

                3. tfb Silver badge
                  Terminator

                  Re: Spexit!

                  Actually my scenario is that a nation state compromises GPS. It might be a nation state run by someone who looks a lot like a Bond villain of course, and one that acts like a Bond villain as a result: poisoning people with nerve agents, say. And it might either compromise it technically (please, let's not have the 'special magic extra military technology' which somehow makes that harder: there's no reason to believe the military are better at the security of computing systems than anyone else (which is terrifying, but true), or politically.

          2. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

            Re: Spexit!

            "confined to a European theatre of war"

            I hate to break this shocking news to you but satellites go round the world*. Members of a constellation should be available at any longitude although the inclination of the orbit will determine the range of latitudes between which they're above the horizon.

            * A Brexit satellite will be different. It will go round in ever-decreasing circles over the UK until it disappears up its own thruster.

            1. Justthefacts

              Re: Spexit!

              Yes, and no.

              Available, yes. But you need to understand Dilution of Precision. Go google it,

              Then, realise that orbits don’t need to be circular, and elliptical ones can hang for longer at more optimal angles, by Keplers law.

              In short, take a course in orbital mechanics, and have a squizz through the dozens of technical trade offs made.

              1. tfb Silver badge
                Terminator

                Re: Spexit!

                Well, you see, I have done a course on orbital mechanics. And I also have access to powerful internet search technology, and I found this. And, oh look, the orbital eccentricity is ... zero: they're fucking circular orbits. And just to complete it: they're all in orbits at 56 degrees inclination, three groups of 10 (8 active, two spare) separated by 120 degrees.

                GPS works at 55 degrees inclination (so, the same) with six groups separated by 60 degrees, four satellites per plane.

                This is not a system which 'favours Europe': please quit your dissimulation.

          3. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: Spexit!

            "2) In cases confined to a European theatre of war. "

            Reminds me of the John Bird and John Fortune (The Long John's on Bird, Bremner and Fortune) did in the lead up to the Iraq war where one was acting as a UK general who was talking up the capabilities of the UK army in answeer to every topic until asked if this would work in Iraq only to say "well, the British army has planned for years for a war in Northern Europe and in Iraq it's too hot/has sand everywhere/is hte wrong colour for our camoflague/etc" and ended up when asked fopr the solution by saying "well, we ought to write a letter to Sadaam Hussein and say that as we all clearly want to have a war then wouldn't he mind sending his army over to Northern Europe so we can fight them there"

            N.b. this was one of the many sketches where they demonstrated their principle that the best way to satirise UK government policy was basically to repeat the UK government policy verbatim!

            1. Anonymous Coward
              Anonymous Coward

              Re: George Parr (the Long Johns on Iraq)

              "they demonstrated their principle that the best way to satirise UK government policy was basically to repeat the UK government policy verbatim"

              https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nohGiQmOxlc

              Just under eight minutes summarises the disastrous history of top level UK MoD policies in the last few decades.

              Please stay tuned right to the end. This isn't satire, it's not even fake news, it's fact.

            2. Anonymous Coward
              Anonymous Coward

              Re: Spexit!

              "well, the British army has planned for years for a war in Northern Europe and in Iraq it's too hot/has sand everywhere/is hte wrong colour for our camoflague/etc"

              This is an instance of a much more general and universal problem.

              Military forces and equipment are not 'one size fits all (conflicts).

              Usually what you have fits the last war you fought, not the current one.

              Example 1

              Combat rifles - The post WW2 era started with militaries preparing for a war between major power alliances in Europe. That meant tanks, lots of high performance aircraft, missiles, battle rifles (M14 / FN FAL, other 7.62x51 full power rifles) with a 600m effective range, heavy artillery, and equipment for nuclear and chemical environments, fought by European and similar troops.

              Then the US found itself at war in the hot, damp, often jungle covered Vietnam. Their allies were small Asians who found the M14 overly large, and heavy with lots of recoil relative to their mass. The sightlines were restricted, ranges were short with longer range combat being carried by machine guns, mortars, artillery, helicopter gunships, attack aircraft, and heavy bombers. Close quarters combat against highly motivated infantry seemed to need automatic fire, but the battle rifles had too much recoil, and the heavy ammunition limited the number of rounds carried. Their answer was the M16 in 5.56x45 intermediate (reduced) power cartridge. Teething problems and some degree of crankiness aside, this seemed to work - though I note that the era of infantry carrying a backup pistol came in during the 5.56mm rifle era.

              Then they found themselves fighting in the dry, distinctly under-forested land of Afghanistan - and their M16s were outranged by opponents armed with bolt action 30 calibre rifles using old cartridges like .303 and the various similar 'battle rifle' cartridges. Now they are looking at new cartridges between 6.5 and 7mm, ith more or less similar ballistics to the 6.5x55 Swedish cartridge introduced for the Swedish and Norwegian armies in the 1890s, and still arguably one of the best standard rifle cartridges.

              In each case, they had the wrong cartridge for their tactics when they went into a military campaign... but the 1950s cartridge would have been fine for the 2000s.

              Example 2

              Armour

              When the US first went into Afghanistan and Iraq, it has what were basically cold war armour designs for high intensity combat against a similarly armed enemy.

              The US army has spent decades designing and acquiring armoured combat vehicles for combat against lightly armed opponents without air power, artillery, or armour, but with grenades, mortars, mines, and IEDs. These are not really the best against opposing Main Battle Tanks, guided artillery projectiles, and attack jets with precision weapons.

              Yet they are now looking at the possibility of fighting near peer forces, and they have the wrong vehicles, all over again, and need to go back to something more like an updated version of 1970s tanks and IFVs.

          4. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: Spexit!

            Please could any of the expected downvoting Remainers, outline just ONE scenario that this actually fulfils a need?

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

            Re your points:

            2. In fact, Galileo is a global system, like GPS, GLONASS, and Beidou-2, and unlike Beidou-1, NAVIC (India) and QZSS (Japan), which are regional. Most GNSS systems suffer problems at very high or low latitudes, but the first 4, above, otherwise cover the planet well.

            3. Potentially, the US could deny GPS to any region where there is a conflict they oppose. They have opposed military actions by allies before before (Suez) and it could have happened in other cases (Falklands) if the power struggle in the US State Department had gone the other way.

            4. A GNSS is currently considered a necessary capability to support precision weapons, including counter-force ballistic missiles. Notice how all the owners of GNSS systems are also nuclear powers, or could become so in a matter of months (that would be Japan). That makes it about having an independent nuclear deterrent. If you want to count on the US to be willing to enter a nuclear war on your behalf in a crisis, or a losing the conventional war situation, you don't need one so much. Your choice.

            1. Justthefacts

              Re: Spexit!

              What military actions exactly in today’s world would be “Suez-like?”. Almost all of the UK’s recent wars have been multilateralist. Those that are not (e.g. Falkands) are likely not supported with the required precision by Galileo, because there isn’t a high-rising MEO over that location.

              Very importantly, in the case of Falkands, let’s not forget that it was France that refused to give us the Exocet codes to allow us to defend ourselves. Or, let’s take a minor civil war like the Northern Ireland conflict. Are you sure that the EU would support the use of munitions like GNSS guided mortar fire to take out an IRA position? 100% sure? Galileo absolutely doesn’t retire political risk. Most realistic scenarios are very problematic when stated explicitly.

              4) To support an independent nuclear deterrent. *Yes, exactly that*. So, let’s have that debate.

              It isn’t the US intervening on our behalf, it is whether they would actively prevent our own capability.

              If instead of people being told “Brexit bad because no Galileo”, this were phrased as

              “A key benefit of Remain is to allow us a policy to launch nuclear weapons even if the United States disagrees” most Remainers, being liberal multilateralist, would be *horrified* that this was what they had been voting in favour of.

              1. tfb Silver badge
                Boffin

                Re: Spexit!

                Those that are not (e.g. Falkands) are likely not supported with the required precision by Galileo, because there isn’t a high-rising MEO over that location.

                OK, here we go again. As I've said before the Galileo orbits are circular, so there are no special cases because the satellites are at apogee: apogee and perigee have the same radius. Secondly we can easily compute the period of the orbits based on the orbital radius and the mass of the Earth: it's about 14h4min (50682s about). It's pretty easy to see from this that there are no privileged longitudes: all places at a given latitude see the same average number of satellites as the orbital planes move over the surface (you have to be careful to do this right: don't use the solar day). It's also easy to see from symmetry that negative latitudes are equivalent to positive ones.

                So what this says, in summary is that coverage depends only on the absolute value of latitude: things work as well at any longitude, and places north of the equator get equivalent coverage to places south of it.

                So, OK, what's the latitude of the Falklands? -51.56 degrees. What's the of London? +51.52 degrees.

                In other words: if Galileo (or GPS: I've not done the sums for GPS but it will be the same) works well in London, it works well in the Falklands.

                Please, stop bullshitting: it makes you look like a fool.

          5. tfb Silver badge
            Boffin

            Re: Spexit!

            It's not just European theatres of war. It might not be good too far inside the arctic circle, in some circumstances, or in Antarctica, in some circumstances. But it will be fine in all of the places you say it will not be fine.

        2. Frank Exchange Of Views

          Re: Spexit!

          >Galileo as a military asset is geared for a conflict with EU latitudes. It sucks royally very far up North and far down South.

          Congratulations, you got it exactly wrong. Galileo has been geared to offer better precision at high latitudes than GPS and GLONASS.

          1. Justthefacts

            Re: Spexit!

            No. You have misunderstood the physics. It isn’t “high latitudes”, it is aided by a pseudo Molniya orbit with high altitude and hang time over Europe. Specifically Europe.

            By the way, that is absolutely a correct engineering decision for most of the *civilian* use cases.

            But not much use to aid the military scenarios.

        3. Lars Silver badge
          Happy

          Re: Spexit!

          @Voland's right hand

          Where did you get this from "It sucks royally very far up North and far down South."

          According to ESA:

          "the Galileo navigation signals will provide good coverage even at latitudes up to 75 degrees north, which corresponds to Norway's North Cape - the most northerly tip of Europe - and beyond.".

          Also "Galileo is interoperable with GPS and Glonass, the US and Russian global satellite navigation systems".

          And why would anybody ask the Russians permission to sail on international waters.

          1. Justthefacts

            Re: Spexit!

            So now, when it suits your preconceived politics, you just believe the vendor advertising.

            Read what they said. Exactly.

            “Available”, yes. Giving the high precision, no.

            In particular, giving the super high precision required for munitions guidance, no.

      2. Len Silver badge

        Re: Spexit!

        [quote]We were part of the Galileo approach and you can argue the spectrum is as much ours as EUs.[/quote]

        How do you expect that to work? The spectrum is reserved for the EU. By leaving the EU we give up our rights to that allocation.

      3. katrinab Silver badge
        Trollface

        Re: Spexit!

        "Ignoring the political shenanigans for a moment. Can we not just use the same spectrum as Galileo but use different encryption for the military aspect?"

        Even better: why not use the same spectrum that Sky uses for its TV service. I'm sure there won't be any problem with that.

      4. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Spexit!

        "Ignoring the political shenanigans for a moment. Can we not just use the same spectrum as Galileo but use different encryption for the military aspect?"

        I see neither physics, nor engineering, nor systems analysis were among your better subjects in school.

        It doesn't work that way.

    2. Michael Habel Silver badge

      Re: Spexit!

      Yeah by that argument why havent you joined the Euro side? We have trash money!

  3. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    "And then there is of course" reads like it should have been followed by a mention of Russia's GLONASS, not Galileo again.

    Many "GPS" devices use both GPS and GLONASS at the same time. (Galileo as third is slightly less common.)

    1. Michael Habel Silver badge

      Is Galileo even a thing yet? I was still under some impression that it was still yet but, a twinkle in some Engineers mind. Something to fillout reams of Paper with. But nothing nearly a practical yet? Besides Why does Europe need its own GPS System for? When we can just use the American & Russian versions of it like we've been doing for that something touching on nearly (if not actually over!), twenty years now.

      Or are we planing for a War with one or, both of these powers?

      1. Sykowasp

        Yes, there's plenty of Galileo satellites up there providing a 1cm accurate signal. I think there are some more to be launched to complete the constellation, but we are pretty much pulling out in the final straight of the race.

        As Wikipedia says: "As of July 2018, 26 of the planned 30 active satellites are in orbit.[8][9] Galileo started offering Early Operational Capability (EOC) on 15 December 2016,[1] providing initial services with a weak signal, and is expected to reach Full Operational Capability (FOC) in 2019.[10] The complete 30-satellite Galileo system (24 operational and 6 active spares) is expected by 2020.[11]"

        I'm so so sick of unicorn based politics these days.

        1. JimboSmith Silver badge

          I know a tiny bit about satellite navigation and don't claim to be an expert on this. However I seem to recall that when GPS was degraded there was a system that compared the known location of something such as a lighthouse with the GPS signal. This then gave the ability to work out what the introduced error was and broadcast it allowing automatic correction for it in suitably equipped receivers. Could the same not be used for Galileo?

        2. Justthefacts

          Unicorn based politics?

          Is that like where Surrey Satellites bid the contract, technically feasible and under cost? Then German OHB win, take 5 years *not* to launch what they promised in three. Then Surrey satellites rescue the spectrum allocation by building tech demonstrators from a standing start in 18 months, while OHB drop a *further* two years and many billions of EU money.

          Then, OHB *keep the contract*, despite that a U.K. company is demonstrably cheaper, technically more capable, and faster.

          Right now, despite the billions already spent, Surrey could *easily* build and launch an entire 30 satellite constellation for lower cost than just the four remaining satellites with OHB. Wiki doesn’t mention that, does it.....

          Are those the unicorns you are looking for?

          1. Alan Brown Silver badge

            Re: Unicorn based politics?

            "despite the billions already spent, Surrey could *easily* build and launch an entire 30 satellite constellation"

            Except that they're no longer Surrey Satellites, they're part of Airbus EADS

            1. Justthefacts

              Re: Unicorn based politics?

              Yes, I am aware that Airbus bought Surrey. So what?

              Is that your cynicism showing that either -

              Big company will slow down small company to its pace.

              France- and Germany senior management will simply prevent its U.K. arm from bidding, and say “yeah, but of course Airbus Germany has a department that could do that”.

              Both of those are partially true, I won’t deny it. But that’s not really a pro-EU argument is it? More a discussion about the extent to which U.K. should allow strategic assets to be bought by overseas investors. Probably still the right thing to allow it IMHO

          2. hammarbtyp Silver badge

            Re: Unicorn based politics?

            Is that like where Surrey Satellites bid the contract, technically feasible and under cost? Then German OHB win, take 5 years *not* to launch what they promised in three. Then Surrey satellites rescue the spectrum allocation by building tech demonstrators from a standing start in 18 months, while OHB drop a *further* two years and many billions of EU money.

            Citation @Justthefacts ?

            OHB were technical lead while Surrey were contracted to provide support and test satellite. The test satellite is not the same a the fully functioning system and is just POC

            Galileo

            1. Justthefacts

              Re: Unicorn based politics

              There was no POC intended until OHB failed to deliver the goods.

              The POC contract only came along as OHBs method to keep the main contract, as satellite prime.

              So a contract extension was spun up, to keep the train on the rails.

              Citation - the Galileo RFP’s from the EU database. If you are in the industry, you will have downloaded these at the time. But no, I can’t publically post them. As you well know.

              The POC isn’t the same as the fully functioning system. Well, duh. It differs mainly in the onboard clock, the modulation ASIC, which are “customer provided elements” rather than manufactured by the satellite prime. Also in the amount of station-keeping propellant carried. Next red herring?

      2. Lars Silver badge
        Happy

        @Michael Habel

        It's about keeping up with the technology and supporting the "domestic" industry (too).

      3. uncle sjohie

        I'ts nearly finished, and a full technological generation more modern then GPS. This means a more accurate "free" signal for al EU citizens. As a bonus, the Galileo space vehicles carry cospar transmitters and receivers, so it can do SAR functions too, whereas the GPS Block III+ space vehicles can't, because they lack those transmitters and receivers.

        1. katrinab Silver badge

          It got to its nearly-finished state a few months ago. My iPhone, and I suspect most phones in circulation at the moment support only GPS and Glonass. Galileo support will presumably come in later models.

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            "It got to its nearly-finished state a few months ago. My iPhone, and I suspect most phones in circulation at the moment support only GPS and Glonass. Galileo support will presumably come in later models."

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

            Maybe.

            If they make different three GNSS chipsets for different markets, or if they make 4 GPU chipsets, then yes. If not, I suspect the third GNSS supported will be China's, in many cases.

            If there are four GNSS chipsets, I would expect them to handle GPS, GLONASS, Galileo, and Beidou-2.

            Other satellite navigation systems are likely to be reserved for commercial and military applications (India, Japan, maybe the UK). Seeing them in consumer devices? An unlikely choice - less likely the UK's than India's, given the population and geographic extent differences.

            1. Raj

              There have been NAVIC reference chipsets out for a couple of years now, and India is in the process of requiring all commercial mobile / navigation devices sold within the country to have NAVIC as the default option, from a point in near future.

            2. vtcodger Silver badge

              As far as I can tell, Japan's QZSS seems to emulate an extra GPS satellite for Japanese users. If I understand correctly the unique feature is the use of elliptical orbits designed to keep at least one satellite high over the home islands at any given time. Since the signal is coming more or less straight down, vertical resolution is much improved and multipath problems in urban areas should be much reduced.

          2. Lars Silver badge
            Happy

            "Galileo support will presumably come in later models.".

            The same chip set is apparently used and Samsung S8+ is mentioned as one.

      4. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Is Galileo even a thing yet? I was still under some impression that it was still yet but, a twinkle in some Engineers mind. Something to fillout reams of Paper with. But nothing nearly a practical yet?

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

        Galileo has 26 of 30 planned satellites in orbit. The last 4 should be up by some time in 2020.

        It reached initial operational status in 2016 and should be quite usable, though the extra satellites may improve lock time or accuracy in some instances. At other times it will be quite irrelevant as those would not have been above your horizon. Also, the plan calls for 24 operational satellites and 6 spares... so they are pretty close to the full constellation already.

        I believe there may be some work to be done yet on the PRS encrypted signal - at least there were some hints in some sources to that being the case - but the free civilian use signal should be quite usable now - and that's the only signal most of us will use.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Ok, different sources, different data.

          It looks like Galileo has 15 operational satellites, up from 7 when they announced initial operational capability. There are four more in orbit, 'commissioning' since August.

          Two more should launch in 2020.

          Ten more are scheduled for after 2022. I'm guessing that some of these will replace earlier satellites, including the two that may have compromised orbits.

          Let's see.. 15 + 4 +2 + 10 = 31

          ... or about the full constellation plus all spares.

          You need 4 satellites above the horizon for location + altitude, or 3 for location if 'ground level' on the world reference and model you are using is assumed.

          Given that Galileo is in MEO, much of a hemisphere can see it at one time, so 15 ought to do nicely...

          my receiver sees 10 to 12 or so GPS satellites of 31 most of the time.... sometimes more.

          1. Justthefacts

            Ongoing costs.....

            People realise that these are LEO satellites that come down after three to four years right?

            So when you say “due to launch in 2022”, those just barely replace the ones already up and will have come down by then. T

            1. Lars Silver badge
              Happy

              Re: Ongoing costs.....

              @Justthefacts

              If you had a look at the ESA "fact sheet": https://www.esa.int/Our_Activities/Navigation/Galileo/Facts_and_figures

              you might find it's possible that people might realise it's possible that the "Operational lifetime:" is indeed "more than 12 years", and not three to four years.

            2. tfb Silver badge
              Boffin

              Re: Ongoing costs.....

              They are MEO: semimajor axis is 29600km (which is the orbital radius since they're circular orbits). About 23230km above the surface in other words. Compare ISS: semimajor about 6776km (about 405km up). Or Hubble: semimajor 6917km (545km up). I don't know what the orbital decay is like at that altitude: there is some at Hubble's, but these are a lot further up. It will be very, very slow: centuries I suppose? The lifetime of Galileo satellites is limited by the lifetime of the mechanisms on them: I don't know what wears out but perhaps the power from the solar panels drops below usability? They seem to be estimating at least 12 year lives.

              I'm going to stop responding to your comments now, because it must look like I'm stalking you: I'm not, it's just that you say so much stuff that is so wrong and I'm worried that people will believe you.

      5. VikiAi
        Black Helicopters

        Re: Or are we planing for a War with one or, both of these powers?

        We have always been at war with [ the US / Russia ]

    2. Alan Brown Silver badge

      "Many "GPS" devices use both GPS and GLONASS at the same time. (Galileo as third is slightly less common.)"

      My devices supported Beidou before they started even trying to use Gallileo

  4. Zog_but_not_the_first Silver badge
    Facepalm

    See icon

    See title

  5. AS1

    Duck houses

    One can only assume the rapid decision on £92m was reached on the grounds that it covers the anticipated expenses of continuing to fund the Galileo project.

  6. SonofRojBlake

    "Spanks"???

    "while Blighty potentially spanks billions"

    Spunks, shurely?

    1. Geoff Campbell
      Gimp

      Re: "Spanks"???

      Well, the one often leads to the other.

      (...what?)

      GJC

  7. Charlie Clark Silver badge

    Who needs GPS?

    To go to the pit or factory? Return of annual wakes in Blackpool to revive the tourist trade on steam locomotives powered by Welsh nuts (RIP Tenniel Evans) and lashing of ginger beer all round!

    1. Prst. V.Jeltz Silver badge

      Re: Who needs GPS?

      no , seriously , why *do* we need this?

      For the military? what do they need 1cm accuracy for over 30 ft accuracy?

      Why do the military always get better stuff than the rest of us?

      I could use 1cm accuracy for my drone delivery business.

      Dont the US already give us military spec GPS? even though I'm sure we can effectively bomb far away people on garmin gps accuracy

      1. tfb Silver badge

        Re: Who needs GPS?

        For the military? what do they need 1cm accuracy for over 30 ft accuracy?

        Targetting weapons.

        Why do the military always get better stuff than the rest of us?

        Because they pay for it (or, well, we pay for it via taxes, but we choose to allow our military privileged access to stuff like this on grounds of security).

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: "we choose ... on grounds of security"

          "we choose to allow our military privileged access to stuff like this on grounds of security"

          Citation welcome.

          I was tempted to just say 'eff off', but it's the season of goodwill to all men of peace, and so I merrily await your preferred definition of who "we" might be, and how exactly "we choose" to pay as much as we do to the military industry complex, and why we're now being asked to contribute even more (e.g. >2% of GDP from each NATO member?).

          There are dark forces that would rule this earth, and they're not much to do with the Illuminati or even David Icke.

          1. tfb Silver badge

            Re: "we choose ... on grounds of security"

            'We' is 'the voting population (of the constituent nations of the EU in the case of Galileo)'. We (in the sense I have just given) vote for governments who allocate taxes for us, run the armed forces and so on. And the governments we elect choose organise things so that the military get privileged access to Galileo (or, well, in the case of the UK that they don't any more). If we disagreed with that strongly enough we would vote in governments which did not do that. If we disagreed strongly enough with the 2% NATO thing we'd vote in a government which refused to pay that much on defence (many countries did vote in governments which did quietly refuse to do so). And we might have to accept that we got thrown out of NATO as a consequence (or, if everyone refused, that NATO essentially ceased to exist amid a giant Trump tantrum).

            It's not some giant conspiracy, you know, however much you want it to be.

  8. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    The 92m for our own satellite system is to get "the deal" past parliament by declaring we are working on our own when technically we won't ever do it. Just another example of how this country is getting shafted.

    1. Version 1.0 Silver badge
      Facepalm

      ctrl-C, ctrl-V

      Politicians do ctrl-C, ctrl-V all the time - they neither understand nor care that the plan won't work so long as it gets them re-elected.

      Having a GPS available is nice (when it works and it's hell on earth when it doesn't) but we were all doing just fine before GPS. Why do we need GPS? The most frequently used GPS function these days is storing the location for a selfie.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: ctrl-C, ctrl-V

        Why do we need GPS? The most frequently used GPS function these days is storing the location for a selfie.

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

        The most frequent 'real world useful' application is probably real time traffic aware routing around congestion and accidents. Just about everyone I know uses it several times a day for, cumulatively, hours of use each day, starting with the commute to work.

        1. BongoJoe

          Re: ctrl-C, ctrl-V

          Farmers use it here to fertilize their crops which is why we only end up with one set of tramlines through fields rather than half the crop chewed up by Jethro driving erratically whilst pissed up on cider.

          GPS is everywhere now. I passed a surveying team the other day with a GPS do-dah thingummy which seems to have replaced a bloke with a pole and Captain Cook's navigation aid.

          It's also useful for ambulances and things to get to the right spot: particularly if one isn't in the middle of an urban area and can't use street names and house numbers to navigate.

      2. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

        Re: ctrl-C, ctrl-V

        " hell on earth when it doesn't"

        Hell somewhere - not sure where.

        1. Prst. V.Jeltz Silver badge

          Re: ctrl-C, ctrl-V

          Farmers use it here to fertilize their crops which is why we only end up with one set of tramlines through fields rather than half the crop chewed up by Jethro driving erratically whilst pissed up on cider.

          farmers use ecrypted military gps? no wait , they use the free one - same as all the other examples given above. We dont need this new thing

    2. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

      Just another example of how this country is getting shafted entirely by its own efforts.

      FTFY

  9. John Mangan

    Strangely in the last week or so....

    ...my respect for Mrs. May has actually risen.

    She was told she couldn't get a deal - - - she got one.

    She was told she would be ousted by the ERG - - - that didn't happen.

    She's been told that it has no chance of getting through parliament but she keeps on ringing that bell.

    Honestly at this point I can't tell if she has some master stroke to pull from her sleeve at the eleventh hour (dark murmurings of EU concessions that have already been agreed), is totally deluded or is just running on sheer grit and determination but it is inspiring in its way.

    On topic, this is just one more reason why Blighty (unsurprisingly) won't have it's own GPS and it astonishes me that the government will need to splash £92 million to convince themselves of this. Surely looking ahead to the lack of the £5 billion (conservative estimate) that it will cost would be enough?

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Strangely in the last week or so....

      You are Philip May and I claim my five pounds.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Strangely in the last week or so....

        "You are Philip May and I claim my five pounds."

        I was thinking more along the lines of Mrs May's Special Advisor from the dark corners of the Home Office in days gone by, actually.

        Must be true, just like Micky Gove must be right every now and again.It's been in the Daily Mail:

        https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2649035/The-discreet-affair-two-Home-Secretarys-closest-advisers-REAL-reason-bitter-split-Cabinet-colleague-Michael-Gove-Islamic-plot-schools.html

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Strangely in the last week or so....

      You don't seem to have considered that having the withdrawal agreement rejected by Parliament may be exactly what she wants. The millionaires that fund the Tory party will then get the no-deal Brexit they crave, while she can pass the blame onto Parliament for all of the consequences.

      1. Androgynous Cupboard Silver badge

        Re: Strangely in the last week or so....

        Or alternatively, Parliament shuns the deal and its revision and - unable to push it through - she reluctantly calls a second referendum to break the impasse, at which point the slim majority of the country that can perform basic maths votes to remain and she walks away, holding up her hands and saying "I did my best" while privately thinking "thank fuck for that".

        1. jmch Silver badge

          Re: Strangely in the last week or so....

          "she reluctantly calls a second referendum to break the impasse, at which point the slim majority of the country that can perform basic maths votes to remain and she walks away, holding up her hands and saying "I did my best" while privately thinking "thank fuck for that"."

          I HOPE that this is what is going to happen as I believe that's the best outcome for UK. It's more likely of course that this is going to end up with no-deal. Either way if whatever happens is the result of some grand master plan I'll eat my hat. It's just a random outcome of clueless muddling through.

          1. codejunky Silver badge

            Re: Strangely in the last week or so....

            @ jmch

            "It's more likely of course that this is going to end up with no-deal"

            I wish I had your confidence for a no deal. Unfortunately I dont think May or the gov has the stones to deliver and we will end up with an outcome that will please nobody but yet be nearer to remain than leave.

            1. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

              Re: Strangely in the last week or so....

              "I dont think May or the gov has the stones to deliver"

              Kidney stones? I believe they're appropriately painful.

            2. jmch Silver badge

              Re: Strangely in the last week or so....

              " we will end up with an outcome that will please nobody "

              It's 100% certain that there will be a lot of unhappy people whichever way this pans out. No-deal Brexit or any-deal Brexit are both very far from the utopian visions being offered by Brexiteers pre-referendum. Pro voters were sold on pie in the sky and have found that close up it's more like a shit sandwich

          2. Avatar of They Silver badge
            Facepalm

            Re: Strangely in the last week or so....

            Does seem stupid that leaders of the 3 main(tory, labour SNP) parties voted to remain but still we plough on for a minority vote to leave. (36% isn't a majority) despite every head line now ringing doom and gloom from business, banks, MP's and common sense.

            Ahh the power of stubborn British idiots.

            1. codejunky Silver badge

              Re: Strangely in the last week or so....

              @ Avatar of They

              "minority vote to leave"

              Is this some kind of new math from either the EU or remain (not sure which should be tarnished with this stupidity unless you wish to own it). In what world is a majority vote a minority?

              1. sed gawk

                @codejunky A minority

                TL;DR; 52 % of < 100% is not a majority of the population.

                A world in which less than fifty percent of the population who were eligible to vote, voted on an advisory basis, on something with rather more import and less understanding than might have been employed.

                That is a minority basis, and despite being useful to the people pulling the strings, sadly, you are unlikely to benefit from Brexit.

                <sarc>On the plus side, my investment in popcorn shares should be paying me a handsome dividend, as soon as I can establish a suitable rate of exchange for the Brexit groat.</sarc>

                I hope you can articulate what you think will improve our country, once the removal of our rights of free movement has been completed.

                I personally am in favour of bringing back the ducking stool to test the veracity of political promises. Why not? We've taken back control, why not take back control over causality?.
                what's that you say? no basis in reality! I don't care, I voted why don't we just get on with it, why haven't we brought the ducking stool back yet.

                1. Justthefacts

                  Re: @codejunky A minority

                  So, you know with high certainty that the pound will fall further?

                  You should rejoice, because you, sir, are about to be *fabulously* wealthy.

                  All you have to do is remortgage your house, and use the funds to short the pound with a CFD. I checked, and you can leverage up to 25:1 without difficulty. If you put your money where your mouth is, you should have no difficulty being 5 million euro up by this time next year. This will allow you to buy citizenship in one of the countries that advertises that service freely (e.g. Malta, Austria). Job done.

                  For clarity, neither am I saying Brexit will be good for the pound. But I am saying that anyone who claims to know with better than random odds which way it will go, is either a fool or a bullshit artist.

                  1. sed gawk

                    Re: @codejunky A minority

                    Nice strawman - I made no such claim to the value of the pound.

                    I suppose you can take the crack at the "brexit groat" as such, but well I wrapped it in sarc tags so shrug.

                    FWIW I don't want to be right, but I do think brexit will be horrible for our country, our economy and our democratic process.

                    I will point out that if you are seriously in any doubt that a decent part of the motivation of brexit, is to depress sterling in order to profit from currency speculation. Then I've a bridge you've got to see, only one careful owner..

                    1. Justthefacts

                      Re: @codejunky A minority

                      No straw man. Classic “post modern ironic” Defense.

                      First Imply something outrageous, with a /sarc tag.

                      If not challenged, statement hangs there as accepted and true.

                      If challenged, “I was only joking”, and you are just a jerk for pointing it out.

                      “Part of the motivation for Brexit....profit from currency speculation”

                      By whom? The Illuminati? See above.

                      Most currency speculators are City folk, who are mostly Bremainers.

                      If you want to retreat to a more defensible position, like “there is a viewpoint, not just in the U.K., that one can benefit ones own country with a currency devaluation race to the bottom, making your exports cheaper”. Then yeah, there is. Currently, Trump and Xi are making the argument explicitly. Switzerland is doing it.

                      And it is one of the primary reasons that Germany is in the euro at all. Very roughly, Germany has been prepared to pay 950bn euro via its Target2 claims which will never be repaid, to keep the euro as low as it is, keeping its industrial exporters very profitable.

                      And it is a possible argument for Brexit. And not one that I agree with.

                2. codejunky Silver badge

                  Re: @codejunky A minority

                  @ sed gawk

                  "TL;DR; 52 % of < 100% is not a majority of the population."

                  Ahh you too seem to have got this wrong. What he said was- "minority vote to leave" which is an entirely different thing to population. Population for example includes kiddies too young to vote and those who choose not to vote (for whatever reason as is their choice). 52% of voters with an opinion = without grey area or question a majority. Just as 48% of voters with an opinion = without grey area or question a minority.

                  So either it was a majority vote to leave or you guys need a math lesson.

                  "voted on an advisory basis"

                  Did we? 1 GE to get a meaningful vote on our participation in the EU project, 1 referendum (the promised meaningful vote which the gov has gone along with) and a GE where the main remain party was almost wiped out.

                  "on something with rather more import and less understanding than might have been employed"

                  That I would agree. Both official campaigns were a complete disgrace and lied badly. The direct threats against the population by Osborne and the abuse of the governments position to rig the vote also being extremely shameful too. I would have preferred an honest campaign from both sides.

                  "you are unlikely to benefit from Brexit"

                  Ok. Assuming I believed that I do believe I would be worse off in the EU. I also didnt limit my vote to that either but instead looked at the issue as what I feel would be best for the country. I have debated those points many times which still leaves me believing I am right.

                  "I hope you can articulate what you think will improve our country, once the removal of our rights of free movement has been completed. "

                  Only on the basis of freedom of movement? Ok. First it isnt a right, no. Also your right to leave the country is not being removed, and the EU has also decided it will still accept people from the UK which was achieved before the EU anyway. My personal perspective is I have friends from around the world in the EU, Europe, Africa, Asia, US etc and they are all hard working and want to be here. Why are people from the EU better than the rest of the world? Why can my friends from the EU just come and grab a job (which they do well) while the others have to jump through hoops and are equally hard working?

                  So far however it is wage rises and the housing market coming back under control.

                  "I don't care, I voted why don't we just get on with it, why haven't we brought the ducking stool back yet."

                  That is a great example. That is again an inflated sense of self importance and why you might not like democracy where your vote is not worth more than anyone elses even if you feel that it is. I am sure people vote for the monster raving loony party but a single vote doesnt override everyone else just because of a belief in self importance.

                  1. sed gawk

                    Re: @codejunky A minority

                    TL;DR;

                    They lied to you. This is not about what you want, no-one, least of all the people behind brexit, gives a single shit what you voted for.

                    You were weaponised against our country and sadly you took the bait, Incidently, "your friends from outside the EU" have zero to do with European freedom of movement.

                    Again, there is zero benefit to Brexit, educate yourself, please.

                    EOM

                    1. codejunky Silver badge

                      Re: @codejunky A minority

                      @ sed gawk

                      "They lied to you. This is not about what you want, no-one, least of all the people behind brexit, gives a single shit what you voted for."

                      You are aware that the alternative (your position) is to invalidate the democratic vote (2 GE 1 referendum) because you disagree with the result. They dont need to give a single shit about me, I hope your not deluded to think the remain politicians give a rats testicle about you either. This is where we are all equal with a vote of equal value and the result is clear.

                      "You were weaponised against our country and sadly you took the bait,"

                      The cute thing is you seem to assume I dont think that about you. You voted to sell the country to the EU. The good news is we have a democratic vote where we all get to vote on our belief and remain lost. Twice.

                      "Incidently, "your friends from outside the EU" have zero to do with European freedom of movement."

                      Very true. But freedom of movement has something to do with my friends outside the EU.

                      "Again, there is zero benefit to Brexit, educate yourself, please."

                      And I am to take that on your word? Why? You dont seem to be very well clued up (in this brief exchange) and I am educated thanks. If you wish to discuss feel free but if it just gets you frustrated that things didnt go your way then I am not going to make you feel any better.

                      1. sed gawk

                        Re: @codejunky A minority

                        @ sed gawk

                        "They lied to you. This is not about what you want, no-one, least of all the people behind brexit, gives a single shit what you voted for."

                        "You are aware that the alternative (your position) is to invalidate the democratic vote (2 GE 1 referendum) because you disagree with the result."

                        My position, was not advanced. Such as it is, It might suprise you to learn, that I think a hard brexit is the best possible outcome, chiefly so that people learn what we got from the EU, and the issue is killed off for another generation.

                        It might suprise you to point out, in general, "the will of the people" is given fairly short shrift in this country, hence we (rightly) don't have a death penalty and have not abolished taxation.

                        Here "The will of the people" happens to accord with what some rapacious disaster captalists want for our country, so magically, it has gain import, sorry not convinced.

                        They dont need to give a single shit about me, I hope your not deluded to think the remain politicians give a rats testicle about you either. This is where we are all equal with a vote of equal value and the result is clear. We are not equal, and our votes don't count the same. Depending on where you live in the country, your vote counted or not, demographics and grade boundaries dominated this referendum and every G.E. in my living memory.

                        "You were weaponised against our country and sadly you took the bait,"

                        The cute thing is you seem to assume I dont think that about you. You voted to sell the country to the EU.

                        Outrageous slander. I voted in the interests of my country, and the accusation of "Selling the country" is just cheap and shameful, for shame sir, for shame.

                        The good news is we have a democratic vote where we all get to vote on our belief and remain lost. Twice.

                        While we are counting votes, Boaty mc-Boatface won the vote, I don't see you being outraged that "the will of the people" was ignored there, despite that being an *informed* vote.

                        And we had a General Election, not a second ref. Brexit matters to you and to me, but most people are not political junkies and just voted the same colour as they normally do, sadly that's British Politica for you.

                        I voted to retain protections against the political class that has decimated this countries youth, manufacturing and education sectors.

                        As an example, I invite you to read the ideas directly expressed by the leading proponents of Brexit - https://www.amazon.co.uk/s/?ie=UTF8&keywords=britannia+unchained&index=aps&tag=googhydr-21&ref=pd_sl_87o827ankl_e&adgrpid=53559286979&hvpone=&hvptwo=&hvadid=259024162983&hvpos=1t1&hvnetw=g&hvrand=17641411775915843556&hvqmt=e&hvdev=c&hvdvcmdl=&hvlocint=&hvlocphy=9045628&hvtargid=kwd-299456062213

                        Should you take up the challenge, I offer my condolences, as it is a depressing and turgid read, devoid of insight or illumination, quite apropos in the circumstances.

                        "Incidently, "your friends from outside the EU" have zero to do with European freedom of movement."

                        Very true. But freedom of movement has something to do with my friends outside the EU.

                        Like what, leaving EU28 makes little difference, the vast majority of migration is from outside EU27 in anycase, making your point difficult to see, to be clear, I'm saying that leave or stay, makes no difference to your friends.

                        "Again, there is zero benefit to Brexit, educate yourself, please."

                        And I am to take that on your word? Why? You dont seem to be very well clued up (in this brief exchange)

                        Perchance, is that because I disagree with your conclusion, in support of which, you've offered not a single fact, and instead made an assumption about my unexpressed position.

                        and I am educated thanks.

                        Strawman, I didn't suggest otherwise, I advocated educating yourself on the subject, which would enable you to elucidate the numerous benefits that are eluding me.

                        If you wish to discuss feel free but if it just gets you frustrated that things didnt go your way then I am not going to make you feel any better.

                        I'm not frustrated, I predicted a Leave vote, and I was correct. I win either way, Hard Brexit, Soft Brexit or No Brexit.

                        I run a small company, and do high-end work for which I've been competing in a global market without geographic barriers to entry.

                        If you think Brexit is going to change that, for better or for worse, I'd be interested to understand how I've been protected thus far and will be exposed.

                        I was making money in the 90's, the 2000's, the 2010's and somehow I think I'll manage in 2019/2020 onwards.

                        I do think this country which has educated me will be left poorer and weaker as a result of leaving EU28, simply as we are now utterly at the mercy of the .gov.

                        1. codejunky Silver badge

                          Re: @codejunky A minority

                          @ sed gawk

                          "It might suprise you to learn, that I think a hard brexit is the best possible outcome"

                          Thats also my position but for different reasons. Some people seem to think the EU is some wonder. That life ends at its borders. Even that it somehow is the reason we havnt had another world war!

                          "We are not equal, and our votes don't count the same. Depending on where you live in the country, your vote counted or not, demographics and grade boundaries dominated this referendum and every G.E. in my living memory."

                          The referendum ignored such boundaries so no. It was a simple majority referendum. In the GE's there was overwhelming votes (in number as well as boundary adjustments) for a referendum, and the only major party for remain was all but wiped out.

                          "Outrageous slander. I voted in the interests of my country, and the accusation of "Selling the country" is just cheap and shameful, for shame sir, for shame."

                          I respond in kind. You claimed I needed an education and bated into being weaponised, so dont dish what you cant take. I too voted what I consider in the interests of my country as I accept you did too.

                          "While we are counting votes, Boaty mc-Boatface won the vote, I don't see you being outraged that "the will of the people" was ignored there, despite that being an *informed* vote."

                          Thats because on that matter I am a non-voter without an opinion. I dont give a hoot what it was called. Also where would you expect to see me outraged about that?

                          "just voted the same colour as they normally do, sadly that's British Politica for you"

                          Except the only major party for remain who would overturn the democratic result in an instant using the weighted voting of a GE (as you point out above) was almost wiped out completely.

                          "I voted to retain protections against the political class that has decimated this countries youth, manufacturing and education sectors."

                          Ok. And I voted against adding another government on top of our government which only expands the political class with little benefit but great destruction (e.g. decimating countries to save their currency). Both are opinions and we voted. 3 votes resulted in change.

                          "Like what, leaving EU28 makes little difference, the vast majority of migration is from outside EU27 in anycase"

                          Erm, no. Migration was about similar for both, but outside the EU has real requirements while within the EU migration is ridiculously easier as proven by my friends from inside and outside the EU.

                          "I'm saying that leave or stay, makes no difference to your friends."

                          Actually it could. Since those wishing to migrate here could be treated like the rest of the world.

                          "Perchance, is that because I disagree with your conclusion, in support of which, you've offered not a single fact, and instead made an assumption about my unexpressed position."

                          No its more to do with you assuming I am uneducated on the topic, assuming your opinion is more valid and your expressed position is how good the EU is. And your claim that there is zero benefit to leaving.

                          "Strawman, I didn't suggest otherwise, I advocated educating yourself on the subject"

                          Countering yourself in the same sentence doesnt bode well. Go on lets discuss- economic, democratic, economy, trade, sovereignty. Your choice.

                          "If you think Brexit is going to change that, for better or for worse, I'd be interested to understand how I've been protected thus far and will be exposed."

                          Ok so you have been protected. Great (I do mean that). And your fine regardless of outcome, lucky you. I am pretty sure then what you have expressed at your expectation isnt about you but of others, and same with me. We just have different opinions. In fact our discussion here started with you misunderstanding voters and population as I corrected someones big mistake.

                          1. sed gawk

                            Re: @codejunky A minority

                            We just have different opinions. In fact our discussion here started with you misunderstanding voters and population as I corrected someones big mistake.

                            What I actually said was "A world in which less than fifty percent of the population who were eligible to vote, voted on an advisory basis.." thereby making it clear what I meant..

                            The referendum ignored such boundaries so no. It was a simple majority referendum. In the GE's there was overwhelming votes (in number as well as boundary adjustments) for a referendum, and the only major party for remain was all but wiped out Again, people don't vote in G.E. for single issue parties, hence the dismal performance of UKIP (the single issue leave) and LibDems (single issue remain).

                            You claimed I needed an education and bated into being weaponised

                            I made no such claim, I clarified that I meant you needed to study the subject as your conclusion is demonstrably erroneous, take that as you will.

                            No its more to do with you assuming I am uneducated on the topic, assuming your opinion is more valid and your expressed position is how good the EU is. And your claim that there is zero benefit to leaving. My opinion is that the .gov in this country is more of a threat to me than the EU28.

                            For me E.U. derived legislation - conduct regulations 2003 - worth 20k to me personally, comes from Directive 2000/12/EC. That's a clear example of how being in the E.U. made my small business able to protect itself from larger business, and the sort of protection that the brexiteers have weaponised you against. I not despite the slander, you've blusters but not offered any benefit of being out of the EU yet..

                            1. codejunky Silver badge

                              Re: @codejunky A minority

                              @ sed gawk

                              "What I actually said was"

                              Avatar of They - minority vote to leave

                              Me - In what world is a majority vote a minority?

                              You - A world in which less than fifty percent of the population who were eligible to vote, voted on an advisory basis

                              So I corrected someones big mistake, you misunderstood the difference between population and voter, we continue. Feel free to put your own spin on that.

                              "thereby making it clear what I meant.."

                              Of course if you may have intended to mean something completely different and entirely irrelevant (comparing apples and oranges, or in this case population and voters).

                              "Again, people don't vote in G.E. for single issue parties, hence the dismal performance of UKIP"

                              Actually UKIP did stunning in the election Cameron won by offering a referendum to the population. Libs actually made it into government at all on their promise of tuition free uni.

                              "I made no such claim, I clarified that I meant you needed to study the subject as your conclusion is demonstrably erroneous, take that as you will."

                              Ok. So you assume I need an education on the subject which again is your assumption and again I take that as you saying I need an education on the subject. And still am not impressed with your contribution so far. Also I was amused at your mock 'for shame' crap playing the poor victim.

                              "My opinion is that the .gov in this country is more of a threat to me than the EU28."

                              Ok. I still wont even take issue with that for the moment. That still doesnt change a majority vote to leave, we should leave, the EU is not roses at all and sticking an incompetent government on top of ours (however bad you want to call it and feel free) does not make anything better. I didnt even defend damage done to this country by our own governments (that you mentioned) only to point out some of the same by the EU gov already.

                              "made my small business able to protect itself from larger business"

                              Congrats. And again I mean that. There are always winners and losers in change, and still you said you are fine in or out (which again congrats). Just because you are sitting pretty doesnt mean everyone else is or that people believe this is the best we can have (3 votes so far).

                              "I not despite the slander"

                              Please stop crying victim. You wanted to know why you couldnt vote a ducking stool and it be implemented (I explained voting throughout my response to you). Next you said I needed to educate myself after amusingly claiming no benefit to brexit and telling me how I was used (again I explained voting, corrected your statement on FOM, returned your cheap shot with 'selling the UK' to make my point and asked why I should take just your word there are zero benefits). You cried slander with 'for shame' and moaning about 'cheap shots' (HA) and try to rewrite how I need to educate myself to I need to educate myself (I am supposed to take that differently?) and you again now moan the same. Dont dish what you cannot take. Do not discuss if your gonna just cry victim. This is a comment board, expect comments that dont agree with you and serve back.

                              "you've blusters but not offered any benefit of being out of the EU yet.."

                              You might have missed it but in the last response to you I said- "Go on lets discuss- economic, democratic, economy, trade, sovereignty. Your choice."

                              Dont complain I havnt offered anything when I am first giving you the opportunity to choose the topic.

                              1. sed gawk

                                Re: @codejunky A minority

                                So, again, I've asked you to offer some advantage to leaving.

                                Ok. So you assume I need an education on the subject which again is your assumption and again I take that as you saying I need an education on the subject. And still am not impressed with your contribution so far. Also I was amused at your mock 'for shame' crap playing the poor victim.

                                It means, I think you are incorrect, and I'm not claiming victimhood, call me what you like, I don't much mind. I do think it shows the lack of argument that you have to offer.

                                Weaponised, your vote has been used to allow a right wing coup, that is the correct use of the word, weaponised. Accusing me of selling my country in print, is slander. As a Brexiteer, I don't expect you to have sufficient education to understand the distinction, that is an insult.

                                TTFN I'm bored of this.

                                1. Anonymous Coward
                                  Anonymous Coward

                                  Re: "TTFN I'm bored of this."

                                  Meanwhile, in Westminster, it looks like it's just starting to get interesting, and just starting to be based on facts rather than "brexit means brexit" carp.

                                  * The "full legal advice" is finally going to be published.

                                  * The BBC (entirely coincidentally I'm sure) has pulled out of broadcasting a Brexit debate.

                                  * The ECJ has offered an "opinion" (ie it's not yet definitive) that Article 50 *can* be withdrawn, if the UK should choose to do so, without needing the agreement of the remaining member states.

                                  Interesting times.

                  2. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

                    Re: @codejunky A minority

                    "So either it was a majority vote to leave or you guys need a math lesson."

                    I suspect he was simply countering the commonly stated "fact" (at least by leaver politicians) there is an "overwhelming majority", a "huge mandate" etc, by pointing out that the difference between remain and leave was a minority, ie a bare majority rather than an "overwhelming" majority. Anyone can play with words. Just look at how many definitions a word has in a dictionary. Some of those definitions sometimes even describe a word as having the opposite meaning to one of the other definitions.

                    1. codejunky Silver badge

                      Re: @codejunky A minority

                      @ John Brown (no body)

                      "I suspect he was simply countering the commonly stated "fact" (at least by leaver politicians) there is an "overwhelming majority""

                      Actually the argument of overwhelming majority is far more factual than claiming a minority vote to leave. Overwhelming majority can be argued for the 2 leave votes (referendum + GE) and even by the massive change of policy from an additional GE to actually have a referendum. His claim was absolutely false so counters nothing factually.

                      As for the rest of your comment you are right. I just get sick of these absolute lies and then being a leaver I am accused of being a lier. Often for correcting some serious FUD.

              2. Voland's right hand Silver badge

                Re: Strangely in the last week or so....

                "minority vote to leave"

                Is this some kind of new math from either the EU

                That is what the current polls say.

                The reason is that Wales from 52.5% Leave in the referendum is now down to 40% Leave or there-abouts with nearly 60% Remain. That is not surprising - as a recipient of Eu funds they are on par with Eastern Europe and May has been anything but fore-coming to match it. Plaid has been extremely vocal explaining that and these are the results.

                While the change in other areas in England is not particularly significant (most of hardcore leave is still hardcore leave and most hardcore remain is still hardcore remain), this change alone swings the national poll to the Remain favour by a few %.

                You are right that it is Eu math. It is the math of Eu money and to be more exact the abject lack of it post-BrExit.

                1. codejunky Silver badge

                  Re: Strangely in the last week or so....

                  @ Voland's right hand

                  "That is what the current polls say."

                  Ok but that really doesnt matter. Just as we can have an election where nearly nobody will admit they will vote UKIP then UKIP get a massive share of the vote. Or polling after an elected government screw up. If we changed our minds every time poll data said something different we would get nothing done. And we cant afford another vote every time poll data changes or we will be voting before the last one has results.

                  The reason we kept being promised a referendum (even in Blairs time) and never delivering is because people would vote to leave. The French president has already admitted the French wont be given the choice as they could vote to leave. Opposition to the EU is throughout the EU. Our leaving is just ahead of the curve.

            2. Charlie Clark Silver badge

              Re: Strangely in the last week or so....

              Does seem stupid that leaders of the 3 main(tory, labour SNP) parties voted to remain but still we plough on for a minority vote to leave.

              Not really. It's the role of Her Majesty's Loyal Opposition to oppose the government. The Tory party is as divided over the issue as it has been for the last 30 years, which is basically why, instead of taking responsibility for policy, Cameron abrogated it in a referendum, which unsurprisingly failed to resolve the problem.

              Labour might fancy a general election but Corbyn doesn't really want to take responsibility for anything. I suspect that, should Labour win a general election, we'll see exactly the same kind of splits that we're seeing in the Tories. The SNP probably doesn't want an election (fewer seats for Scotland but also likely to lose more to both the Tories and Labour) but has also consistently argued to keep the status quo.

              In other words: SNAFU.

              1. Anonymous Coward
                Anonymous Coward

                Re: Strangely in the last week or so....

                Corbyn has always been anti-EU and, as McDonnell has pointed out, they need the UK to leave the EU before they can put through their economic "reforms".

                The BrExit b/millionaires would also like a Labour win at a last minute election as this would muddy the waters when people realise how much money has left the country after a hard brexit and start looking for someone to blame. ( plan B is to say its all the remainers fault )

                1. Anonymous Coward
                  Anonymous Coward

                  Re: Strangely in the last week or so....

                  Corbyn has always been anti-EU

                  So has Sinn Fein, but it doesn't stop them being anti-Brexit when they sniff a United Ireland on the horizon. It's politics, remember.

            3. jmch Silver badge

              Re: Strangely in the last week or so....

              "Does seem stupid that leaders of the 3 main(tory, labour SNP) parties voted to remain but still we plough on for a minority vote to leave. (36% isn't a majority) "

              I also find it strange that the leaders of the 3 main parties voted remain but the political process still grinds onwards towards 'leave'. I find it unfathomable that more people voted leave than remain. I can't begin to understand why so many people who were sold a lie are happy to continue to be lied to because they can't accept they were wrong in the first place.

              BUT, that "36%"* is a crock of shite. Democracy has it's rules. Only validly cast votes count, and you can't just assume whatever you want about those who did not vote. The best translation of an 'Abstain' vote is "I don't really care one way or the other". The result was 51.8%-48.2%, not 36%-64%

              By your reasoning one could argue "Why would we not leave if less than 35% wanted to stay?"

              *Actually 51.89% from a turnout of 72.21% voted leave (37.5% of voters) not 36%

        2. YetAnotherAnonymousCoward!
          Thumb Up

          Re: Strangely in the last week or so....

          I think the way this will play out is (1) MP vote for it and we go for it.

          ...or (2) MPs don't vote then we go to 2nd Referendum, and stay back in Europe. May can then tell ERG that look all your talking about amazing deals with Europe - well this is best you can get and shut up for a generation now.

          1. John Smith 19 Gold badge
            Unhappy

            "tell ERG that look all your talking about amazing deals with Europe..shut up for a generation now."

            You wish.

            The only way you're likely to shut some of those people up is with some thick plastic bags and several rolls of duct tape.

            1. Anonymous Coward
              Anonymous Coward

              Re: red ami

              "The only way you're likely to shut some of those people up is with some thick plastic bags and several rolls of duct tape."

              If you've got the duct tape, they've got the thick old bags.

              I've got a couple of tatty yellow hi-viz jackets and some diesel.

              Anyone got a window in their diary Real Soon Now. It'd be a blast.

              à bientôt....

            2. MJI Silver badge

              Re: "tell ERG that look all your talking about amazing deals with Europe..

              This is ElReg and we use rolled up carpets not plastic bags.

              Can someone invite the minister for the 19th century to visit the BOFH offices?

          2. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

            Re: Strangely in the last week or so....

            "May can then tell ERG that look all your talking about amazing deals with Europe - well this is best you can get and shut up for a generation now."

            Their view will be that they weren't in charge. Nothing other than utter failure with nobody else to hang the blame on will persuade them. Probably not even that; they'd just start finger pointing amongst themselves.

          3. Alan Brown Silver badge

            Re: Strangely in the last week or so....

            "or (2) MPs don't vote then we go to 2nd Referendum, and stay back in Europe."

            ONLY if there are a bunch of agreements forced down our throats, otherwise what's to stop the madness of article 50 being invoked again in 18 months?

            At the point the EU26 are perfectly within their rights to say "You said you were leaving and we're glad you're going. Don't let the door hit your arses on the way out - and if you want to come back then you start from scratch with NO CONCESSIONS"

          4. Phil O'Sophical Silver badge

            Re: Strangely in the last week or so....

            well this is best you can get and shut up for a generation now.

            Hmm. A vote to leave means we need a second one, but a vote for remain means it's all settled for 25 years? Welcome to democracy, EU-style.

        3. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Strangely in the last week or so....

          > she reluctantly calls a second referendum to break the impasse, at which point the slim majority of the country that can perform basic maths votes to remain

          I would love to see a new remain vote solely to witness the squirming that will go on as various EU states find 'reasons' for not reinstating the EU institutions that have been required to leave the UK.

          Sadly, doing an about turn now would be suicide for our political relationship with Europe for the next 50 years or so. If you thought we were put upon before, you ain't seen nothing yet.

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: Strangely in the last week or so....

            "Sadly, doing an about turn now would be suicide for our political relationship with Europe for the next 50 years or so. If you thought we were put upon before, you ain't seen nothing yet."

            I can't prove it but I suspect that most in Europe would be very happy to see us reverse the decision. Sure, there would be some political price to pay - there has to be some horse-trading after all - but I don't think it would be too serious, and certainly not as serious (for us) as a 'no deal' Brexit.

            Your suspicions may vary, of course.

            1. Version 1.0 Silver badge

              Re: Strangely in the last week or so....

              I suspect that the BREXIT process, as implemented by the UK, will deter any country from trying it again - the UK has actually done a great deal to strengthen the EU. I'm not suggesting that current EU policy is good, a lot of it stinks but the fact is ... we stink worse.

              My hope is that in the next 20-30 years, the EU will hold a constitutional convention and amend the basis for the EU ... look back in history - that's what happened in the US.

              1. Phil O'Sophical Silver badge

                Re: Strangely in the last week or so....

                My hope is that in the next 20-30 years, the EU will hold a constitutional convention and amend the basis for the EU ... look back in history - that's what happened in the US.

                ROTFL. There's fat chance of the arrogant, paternalist Eurocrat elite ever doing that, it would mean admitting that they might be wrong. Rather than using the US for your future example I suggest you look at what happened to the Soviet Union, that's closer to the way the EU is headed.

          2. Sykowasp

            Re: Strangely in the last week or so....

            Tomorrow we will find out from the EU courts whether the UK can revoke Article 50.

            The current ruling is expected to be Yes, But ...

            Where the Buts are

            * Full agreement of the EU parliament leaders (not the nations themselves)

            * Likely some terms and conditions (no re-invoking Article 50 for N years ; payment for certain EU costs incurred at a state level)

            * We would retain everything we had before (veto, rebate, etc)

            1. Voland's right hand Silver badge

              Re: Strangely in the last week or so....

              * We would retain everything we had before (veto, rebate, etc)

              Not rebate. Cameron forfeited that. Remember?

              1. codejunky Silver badge

                Re: Strangely in the last week or so....

                @ Voland's right hand

                "Not rebate. Cameron forfeited that. Remember?"

                Was that Cameron or Blair? We get screwed over so often its hard to keep track of which EU minion is making the motions.

          3. Version 1.0 Silver badge
            Unhappy

            Re: Strangely in the last week or so....

            "Sadly, doing an about turn now would be suicide for our political relationship with Europe for the next 50 years or so."

            We passed that point about a year ago - at this point I would not blame the EU for kicking us out if we voted to try and get back in. Brexit is a divorce ... during the divorce proceedings we've behaved terribly - who on earth would take the current batch of politicians (both sides) back into their house and try and rebuild a relationship?

            Let's face it "Great" Britain is not great any longer.

            1. Killing Time

              Re: Strangely in the last week or so....

              'Brexit is a divorce ... during the divorce proceedings we've behaved terribly - who on earth would take the current batch of politicians (both sides) back into their house and try and rebuild a relationship?'

              If Brexit is a divorce then it ain't done until the decree is granted, despite our behaviour.

              Current batch of politicians ? Infighting Tories and fence sitting Labour? They are disposable and will be gone when this debacle pans out. The concern and worry is who will be in the hot seat whichever way this turns out....

            2. Lars Silver badge
              Happy

              Re: Strangely in the last week or so....

              I would not blame the EU for kicking us out if we voted to try and get back in".

              Not to worry, we in the 27 know it wasn't business and the better informed who voted leave and we all have our own gullible, if not perhaps so many from our own "world leading" boy schools, perhaps because not so many exist.

              Much time and money has already been spent on this folly.

              1. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

                Re: Strangely in the last week or so....

                "I would not blame the EU for kicking us out if we voted to try and get back in"

                I think you mean "not leave". There would be no need to "get back in" if we didn't leave (if that's even possible). As others have said, I suspect much of the EU would be happy to see the back of this problem by pretending it never happened. There is no way the EU is going to kick out any member. Just look at Greece and Italy to name but two who, in any "normal" club, would have been booted out by now for all the various "rule breaking". Compared to them, the UK is a model member.

            3. sed gawk

              Re: Strangely in the last week or so....

              Great Britain is the largest of the British Isles, hence its still "great".

              But to your wider point, yes, we've been royally mugged off to the general horror of our friends and the complete amusement of our enemies.

              1. Teiwaz Silver badge

                Re: Strangely in the last week or so....

                Great Britain is the largest of the British Isles, hence its still "great".

                Also now 'grate' - as in the sound of the 'oiled' wheels of politics catching painfully on the broken spokes currently in government.

              2. Alan Brown Silver badge

                Re: Strangely in the last week or so....

                "Great Britain"

                yes, compared to Lesser Britain - aka Brittany.

                Now get back under your bridge.

            4. Phil O'Sophical Silver badge

              Re: Strangely in the last week or so....

              <I.Let's face it "Great" Britain is not great any longer.</i>

              The "Great" in Great Britain is a translation from the French "Grande" Bretagne, to distinguish it from the other bit of Brittany. It just means "big".

          4. Alan Brown Silver badge

            Re: Strangely in the last week or so....

            "various EU states find 'reasons' for not reinstating the EU institutions that have been required to leave the UK."

            They don't need to find reasons. They were here as a matter of convenience. They're now elsewhere.

            Same for the banks. Having already made their move it'll be bloody near impossible to stop them. Inertia works both ways.

        4. Charlie Clark Silver badge

          Re: Strangely in the last week or so....

          she reluctantly calls a second referendum to break the impasse, at which point the slim majority of the country that can perform basic maths

          I'm not sure there'e time for a referendum. And, even if there was, what would the question be? and what makes you think the public would behave differently than in 2016? I suspect turnout might be lower but a lot of people would vote for it to happen, whatever it is. I see images of buses covered with ads for large turkey dinners with £350 per turkey per day if only they vote for Christmas.

          No, this is a mess that parliament created and that parliament should sort out. That is what responsibility means and the basis for parliament's sovereignty.

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: Strangely in the last week or so....

            @Charlie Clark "And, even if there was, what would the question be?"

            I would hope that there would be three options:

            1) Leave (No Deal)

            2) Leave (May's Deal)

            3) Remain

            Everyone gets to order their top two choices and the 'losing votes' after the first round (if there is no clear majority) gets re-distributed to the second choices.

            At least then if the country decides to walk off the economic cliff we know that is the democratic choice and not muddied by extravagant fantasies of 'having our cake and eating it' and bestriding world trade like a colossus.

            1. Anonymous Coward
              Anonymous Coward

              Re: Strangely in the last week or so....

              >@Charlie Clark "And, even if there was, what would the question be?"

              >I would hope that there would be three options:

              >1) Leave (No Deal)

              >2) Leave (May's Deal)

              >3) Remain

              Recent polls suggest that roughly 33% of those who would vote for "No Deal" do not understand that it means leaving without a deal. They understand it to mean that everything would continue as before.

              1. Justthefacts

                Re: Strangely in the last week or so....

                Almost all of Remain voters do not understand what Remain means either.

                They understand it to mean - continued partnership of an EU with its current remit, organisations and political makeup. Nothing could be further from the truth. The EU has completely transformed its constitution, remit and makeup three times in twenty years, without any people’s vote. You should expect the same over the next twenty years. In fact, it is even written so - “ever closer union”. “Remain” is a charter to be part of an unknowable institution with unknowable remit.

                Remainers understand the EU to be in line with U.K. middle classes, broadly socially liberal, and fiscally neoliberal. Nothing could be further from the truth. Over 50% of current EU members have been fascist states within the past 50 years. Franco, Salazar, Greek colonels, and Hoxha seem all to have been forgotten. But that is a very temporary situation, as Orban in Hungary, FPO in Austria, AfD in Germany show. Remainers see only what they want to see in the EU future.

                1. Charlie Clark Silver badge
                  WTF?

                  Re: Strangely in the last week or so....

                  Almost all of Remain voters do not understand what Remain means either.

                  A double strawman which implies only you know what the EU is and that the rest of us are clueless morons. Sounds like you have complete faith in referendums.

                  The EU has completely transformed its constitution, remit and makeup three times in twenty years, without any people’s vote.

                  What? You mean ignoring the ones required by law in Denmark and Ireland along with the advisory ones in France and the Netherlands?

                  Over 50% of current EU members have been fascist states within the past 50 years. Franco, Salazar, Greek colonels, and Hoxha seem all to have been forgotten

                  Numerically and geographically inaccurate. Time for your dried frog pills, methinks. FWIW Hoxha was the dictator of Albania, which isn't in the EU.

                  And are you suggesting that companies that have transitioned from autocracy to democracy can never be accepted as democracies? But let's not let the facts get in the way of your ranting…

                  1. Justthefacts

                    Re: Strangely in the last week or so..

                    Without any people’s vote in the *UK*. Pedant. Certainly, other countries have voted. Sometimes more than once until they came up with right answer (Ireland)

                    Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus (kinda), Czech, Estonia, East Germany counts half, Greece, Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain.

                    That’s 15.5 out of 27, which is more than 50%. How have I erred?

                    You are correct only that Hoxha being Albanian shouldn’t strictly count. Ironic that. The Albanian diaspora is a classic example of how EU rhetoric on enabling freedom of movement, is entirely unsupported by the reality on the ground. There are as many Albanians living in the EU27 as in Albania itself (wiki Albanian diaspora), despite it *not* being a member of the EU. So, what need is Schengen? For clarity, I’m *pro* immigration.

                    I can accept that countries can transition from autocracy to democracy. What scares the shit out of me is the reverse, which is happening now in large parts of the EU27.

                    Polish friends with the wrong ethnicity are selling their house in Poland. Hungarian Jewish friends are getting their parents out now, not even waiting for the payments to clear on the house sale because it’s that dangerous to stay. A gay Romanian friend is hiding their traces on social media, after their friend committed suicide in a police cell by shooting himself in the back of the head.

                    Your dismissive tone shows that you belong to a class that has never had anything to fear, and has no skin in the game. For people outside your privilege group, there are very valid reasons to worry if the U.K. will still be a place of safety in an increasingly federalised Europe, with a centre of political gravity consisting significantly of fascist governments.

        5. Velv Silver badge
          Pirate

          Re: Strangely in the last week or so....

          the country ... votes to remain

          There is the outstanding legal challenge over whether the Article 50 can be withdrawn. The Government refuses to engage on hypothetical issues but there is a real risk the deed cannot be undone

          1. Teiwaz Silver badge

            Re: Strangely in the last week or so....

            There is the outstanding legal challenge over whether the Article 50 can be withdrawn. The Government refuses to engage on hypothetical issues

            The UK gov has mostly refused to engage from some massively undeserved sense of pride and moral superiority for much of the time since the first referendum result,

            We could easily argue that the current minority government propped up by the Orange Order nutter party is not fit for purpose, grossly undemocratic and thus not truly representative of the people.

        6. sed gawk

          Re: Strangely in the last week or so....

          @ Androgynous Cupboard

          No chance of 2nd ref.

          May wanted a hard Brexit, and she's managed to setup the cards so we'll get one.

          Grieve (Dominic) had a chance of stopping it but at the reminder that he was a Tory, promptly threw the country under the bus.

          So pass or not, we are leaving with no second vote, no general election and no deal.

        7. Phil O'Sophical Silver badge

          Re: Strangely in the last week or so....

          at which point the slim majority of the country that can perform basic maths votes to remain

          You really think that a second vote showing 52% for remain will settle the issue? The most likely results of that will be calls for a third referendum, and a Tory wipeout by UKIP in the May 2019 European elections.

          I can't see a second vote doing anything but make the situation worse, whichever way it goes.

      2. sed gawk

        Re: Strangely in the last week or so....

        Exactly this, someone else watching closely.

    3. Voland's right hand Silver badge

      Re: Strangely in the last week or so....

      Probably the root cause is the ineptitude of everyone else.

      When Gordon Brown seems like a titan of thought, you know things are going very very very wrong

    4. Just Enough

      Re: Strangely in the last week or so....

      "She was told she couldn't get a deal - - - she got one."

      In what way is getting a deal difficult? Getting a deal is easy. Getting a *good* deal.. somewhat harder.

      I shall have no need of a "satellite" once we have taken back control. When lost, I shall just lift my blue passport aloft and her Majesty will guide my way across all parts of the great new British Empire. Let's have no more talk about these ridiculous fancies about crafts flying in space. We read Dickens, not Verne.

    5. Charlie Clark Silver badge

      Re: Strangely in the last week or so....

      ...my respect for Mrs. May has actually risen.

      Mine is still below when, as chairman of the Tories, she told conference the party was known as the nasty party. That said, she now seems to be a bit surer of herself since the damp squib of the leadership challenge.

      The deal is more or less was the EU proposed from the outset with some fudging that is supposed to help it pass parliament. It's miles from May's chequers plan and basically documents the possible: enough to claim some degree of independence while maintaining access to the single market. A few ministers have decided it's easier to join the backbenches than take collective responsibility for something they're all more or less agreed to at one point or another.

      The whips now have the job of convincing their MPs that they've had a good run and that it's now time to put country before party. But you still hear people talking about brinksmanship being the way to get a better deal. That would be more of the brinksmanship that got Britain this far…

      The EU will say the door is always open while continuing not to move an inch. Practically there is nothing that can be done that wouldn't need ratification by member states (the current deal fudges this as well) which certainly can't be done before the end of March 2019.

      And in any case, migration from other member states continues to fall, while migration from outside the EU has actually risen over the last couple of years.

      In summary, a lot of MPs think that they personally stand to gain by dragging this out.

    6. Jason Bloomberg Silver badge

      Re: Strangely in the last week or so....

      What impresses me most is that it's two and a half years since the referendum, just three months to leaving, and no one can actually determine if she's tilting towards leaving or remaining nor predict which or what we will actually get.

      Leavers things she's a remainer and remainers think she's a leaver. The side I think she's on seems to change every hour.

      It's the closest I've seen anyone ever come to fooling all the people all of the time.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Strangely in the last week or so....

        >Leavers things she's a remainer and remainers think she's a leaver. The side I think she's on seems to change every hour.

        >It's the closest I've seen anyone ever come to fooling all the people all of the time.

        All you have to do is remember what her husband does. Changing her mind every couple of nanoseconds affects the prices of currency and shares. Her husband is in the position to have a) insider knowledge of said mood swings and b) friends who can profit from said fluctuations.

        Now, obviously they wouldn't be involved in insider trading at all, so perhaps it is one of the side effects of diabetes and the increased stress is making it difficult for her to manage it.

      2. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

        Re: Strangely in the last week or so....

        "no one can actually determine if she's tilting towards leaving or remaining"

        I think it depends on who's just threatened her.

      3. Charlie Clark Silver badge

        Re: Strangely in the last week or so....

        What impresses me most is that it's two and a half years since the referendum, just three months to leaving, and no one can actually determine if she's tilting towards leaving or remaining nor predict which or what we will actually get.

        I guess this is largely because she doesn't seem to know either. She saw an opportunity to become leader of the party and Prime Minister and then didn't seem to know what to do afterwards. If she'd laid out a platform for conference in 2016 and called an election on the basis of it, she'd probably have won a credible majority to push it through. But, like Gordon Brown before her, she dithered and called the election too late and, more importantly, after officially asking to leave. Everything since then has been a rearguard action because, in the words of Harold Wilson, politics is the art of the possible and what is on offer is exactly that: an attempt to avoid a disorderly exit.

    7. sed gawk

      Re: Strangely in the last week or so....

      @ John Mangan

      ...my respect for Mrs. May has actually risen.

      For shame sir.

      It's terrible to confuse being completely insulated from consequences with determination.

      The entire ERG debacle is a side-show to distract from the desire to rescind our rights, and if putting ones fingers in one's ears and singing la-la-la is all it takes to earn your respect, might I suggest you excavate the bar from its current subterranean position.

    8. Alan Brown Silver badge

      Re: Strangely in the last week or so....

      "She was told she would be ousted by the ERG - - - that didn't happen."

      That has a lot to do with being the "Prime Minister who brought Brexit to the UK" being seen as a poison chalice and most Tory hopefuls jumped 3 steps backwards when there was a call for volunteers the first time around. As for delusion: all you need to do is look at her staggering sucesses in the home office....

      They may snipe at her, but noone's stupid enough to take the cap right now. It'll be a political death knell.

      That's why she can keep ringing that bell. Noone's actually brave enough to stick their head above the parapet and take it off her.

    9. MJI Silver badge

      Re: Strangely in the last week or so....

      The general view does appear to be that Theresa May is doing the best she can and that neither ERG or Labour would do better.

      She does appear to be pragmatic and prepared to do what she has to.

      OK I think leaving is a mistake but the TM deal is a LOT better than no deal.

  10. Steve Crook

    Cancel HS2

    There would be worse things to spend £5bn on. They could cancel HS2 which is largely (completely?) pointless and spend part of the money on a satnav system and the rest on actually improving the rest of the rail network.

    We're already at the forefront of small satellite development, and it *could* be a boost to that sector.

    1. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge

      Re: Cancel HS2

      >and it *could* be a boost to that sector.

      It could completely destroy that sector.

      Here Mr/Ms/GenderNeutralPronoun entrepreneur is an umpty billion quid government contract with the usual promise of even more when you overrun or don't deliver. Stop all your commercial work, massively expand your workforce (with only locals who pass security checks) and plan on just building this for 10-20 years.

      Then when the funding runs out or the political winds change, go back to being a lean agile commercial operation overnight.

    2. MJI Silver badge

      Re: Cancel HS2

      One of the reasons for HS2 is to take traffic off the WCML which is now at capacity.

      We NEED another line.

      1. Steve Crook

        Re: Cancel HS2

        Assuming it can be delivered anywhere near budget and on time, and there's precious little evidence that either will be the case. Also, there's the question of whether it's high speediness is actually bringing anything to the party other than cost.

      2. Intractable Potsherd

        Re: Cancel HS2

        @MJI - yes, a new line is needed, just not the stupidly expensive and disastrously damaging HS2.

  11. JimmyPage Silver badge
    Mushroom

    my respect for Mrs. May has actually risen.

    I will point out you were starting from a below zero point - and even now she's still in the negative.

    Sorry, the comment about "queue-jumping" alone was enough for me - the other 15 years of her "career" are just icing on the cake. She's a nasty misogynistic, racist, lying xenophobe.

    1. John Mangan

      Re: my respect for Mrs. May has actually risen.

      @JimmyPage I don't disagree with you (I'm unsure of the misogynistic to be fair) but this is still a bravura performance.

      She's not invited to my Christmas party.

      1. Dan 55 Silver badge

        Re: my respect for Mrs. May has actually risen.

        Christmas will be cancelled if the rumours of further can-kicking are to be believed.

      2. sed gawk

        Re: my respect for Mrs. May has actually risen.

        The misogynistic aspect is more incidental, most of the austerity policies and immigration policies cause dispropotionate hardship to women, due to existing structural inequalities.

        Several programs e.g. "Sure Start" which helped women into work, were slashed by her administration.

        You can add to the list that she personally benefits from Cannabis prohibition in the UK. due to her husbands investments in British Sugar and its forty-five acre estate https://www.telegraph.co.uk/business/2016/10/25/british-sugar-to-cultivate-cannabis-plants-in-norfolk-for-gw-pha/ (sorry for the torygraph link)

        This FOI request attempted to discover just how much the UK tax payer was subsidizing May's campaign to have her competition locked up - Sadly it was denied - the estimate across the entire population is around 30% of total inmate are drug related, it's unknown what percentage relates to Cannabis

        https://www.whatdotheyknow.com/request/the_number_of_people_in_uk_priso

    2. sed gawk

      @jimmypage

      Well said, I'd add incompetent to that list.

      The official rationale for the go-home vans was that immigrants did not integrate and had not learnt English(half of the costa-del-sol raises a hand), so she commissioned vans to tell "non-English" speaking immigrants to "go home" in English.

      Jesus wept.

      1. Dan 55 Silver badge

        Re: @jimmypage

        All the Go Home Vans did was make it more acceptable to tell foreigners to go home.

        Look where we are now, people voting Brexit to kick the foreigners out.

    3. John Smith 19 Gold badge
      Unhappy

      "She's a nasty misogynistic, racist, lying xenophobe."

      And there's me thinking she only got the top job because because she was the candidate the supporters of the other candidates didn't dislike too much.

      By Conservative standards these are actually pluses.

      BTW something more than 1 million British people have died since 2016.

      Now, how many of these old codgers voted Leave, before joining the choir celestial?

      1. MJI Silver badge

        Re: "She's a nasty misogynistic, racist, lying xenophobe."

        Least worse option is the best description.

        I would say a political nerd with poor interpersonal skills. Naive also, but not evil. Possibly easily lead.

        To level things Corbyn is a well meaning, well spoken, appear reasonable, at first appearances talks sense but very soon you realise it is a lack of in depth knowleage, and that what he said is not actually possible.

        To be honest we have few really capable MPs at the moment, but then isn't it always so?

        There will be some new blood in both main parties soon, it is very likely that the next PM will not be a household name.

        Now to defend them.

        Most people become politicians because they want a better place. Regardless of party and capability, most of them want to improve our lot. It is just that we tend to see the useless ones on TV a lot and not nice ones also get prominence.

        The parties are also self destructive, examples, the battle between Labour members and Parliamentry party, the party suiciders of the Euroskeptic Conservatives (like Lord Snooty). However Labour did in the past manage to chose leaders with a lot of appeal at the time (remember how Tony Blair was welcomed). Yet Conservatives will often go for non entities (Ian and Duncan Smith), over people the public would like (eg Ken Clarke).

        Cameron was Blair light, Other Milliband was Blair comedy tribute, Mr now working for Facebook was between a rock and a hard place.

        I have a long lost of MPs I dislike and a shorter one of ones I like. But like most people I tend to centrist.

        1. sed gawk

          Re: "She's a nasty misogynistic, racist, lying xenophobe."

          "I would say a political nerd with poor interpersonal skills. Naive also, but not evil. Possibly easily lead."

          What evidence do you have?

          She doesn't seem naive in the slightest, ignorant, racist, vindictive and spiteful, yes but naive.

          She knew exactly what she was doing, "citizens of nowhere" "go-home".

          People mistake that when she spoke of the nasty party, she was bemoaning the lack of ambition, that they had sunk to merely being nasty.

  12. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Brexit

    Paying dividends every day.

    Please send me my £350M

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Brexit

      The value of your £350m can fall like a stone, no takesie-backsies, terms and conditions apply.

  13. Dr Dan Holdsworth Silver badge
    Thumb Up

    Actually, this may be a well-disguised win

    Think, if you will, what a high-grade positioning system is actually good for. Most civilians will just carry on using assisted GPS and quite like it, since it does everything required. The various armies will similarly just carry on as normal. The only thing that will be very affected will be the UK Home Office's plans for road pricing.

    Road pricing can be done many ways, but if you are a moderately dim civil servant without much conception of how bloody devious the general public can be if money is involved, then a road pricing scheme involving Galileo looks like a really, really good idea. Civil servants have a certain rigidity of thinking that means that once they set off down a certain path, they do not deviate even under severe pressure.

    A lack of Galileo therefore means that we, the vehicle-using public, may well have ducked a bullet here. The easy road-pricing system is denied the civil servants; they will therefore have to do something that civil servants really, really hate doing: thinking for themselves. This and Brexit ought to keep the meddling little elves of the Home Office very busy for quite a long time to come.

    1. hammarbtyp Silver badge

      Re: Actually, this may be a well-disguised win

      As you say for the majority of people this will make no difference. Standard GPS is fine for most commercial applications, even road pricing

      However this pertains to defense applications, for example dropping a GPS guided munition down a bunker. In this case you want a higher degree of accuracy. You also want to stop your enemy piggy backing of the same capability which is why it is encrypted

      The UK requested this capability in Galileo to be only available to full members of the Galileo project, not thinking for a second that it would lose access to the club.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        re: this pertains to defense applications

        Bingo.

        Now, the UK is in the embarrassing (allegedly secret, but since I know it, it's "doing the rounds") position that a lot of military hardware deals are now basically kaput. We simply can't supply what was ordered, since we won't have access to the GPS system needed to make it work.

        That's a lot of jobs out of the window - well, moved to the EU (who can sell kit to use the secret bits).

        One of the lesser known reasons about Mays "deal" is that it would allow the UK to own EU companies to try to circumvent the blockage. (Only it won't - and she knows it ...)

        For the sake of an aborted attempt to curb foreign faces, Brexit is costing the UK very dear ....

        1. Justthefacts

          Re: re: this pertains to defense applications

          What? Either Bullshit Or Worse. “We won’t have access to the GPS system.....

          We of course continue to have *UK* military access to US GPS military codes. In a way, to be clear, that the US would *never* allow to France. But we would never have rights to sell equipment encapsulating secret codes that aren’t ours to sell.

          Are you claiming that U.K. Defense companies have been pre-selling systems that include and rely on *Galileo* military codes? Selling to the usual suspects in the Middle East and APAC? Bearing in mind that selling such would violate our terms of Galileo membership. And also bearing in mind that it would be a fraudulent sale to e.g. Indonesia, as the accuracy of Galileo in Indonesia is ten times worse......

          I *hope* you aren’t claiming any of that. Please do expand.........

      2. Mage Silver badge
        Mushroom

        Re: defense applications, ... a GPS guided munition down a bunker.

        Any decent weapon needs now to have maps, inertial navigation, camera to recognise terrain, number plates (all on various models of drones & cruise missiles).

        GPS guided is no use now as it can be jammed or spoofed.

        If if can only be jammed today, it will be spoofed later. c.f. breaking of DRM.

        All satellites will be destroyed early in any truly global conflict by laser, missiles etc.

        1. MudFever

          Re: defense applications, ... a GPS guided munition down a bunker.

          Would that be sharks with frikkin' laser beams attached to their heads?

          So we regain control, but lose access to the system we helped pay for and have to build our own? If it happened to another country it would be a case of schadenfreude, but I don't think there is a joy at self-harm equivalent. :(

      3. jmch Silver badge
        Trollface

        Re: Actually, this may be a well-disguised win

        "this pertains to defense applications, for example dropping a GPS guided munition down a bunker"

        Presumably said missile being launched from an as-yet-unavailable plane that will be flying off an aircraft carrier that is as yet unable to catapult the as-yet-unavailable plane?

        Seriously though, does the British military not already use GPS for this? Are they anticipating that the yanks are going to cut them off?

        1. hammarbtyp Silver badge

          Re: Actually, this may be a well-disguised win

          Seriously though, does the British military not already use GPS for this? Are they anticipating that the yanks are going to cut them off?

          That is actually the crux of the matter. Do you base your defense capability on the resources of a foreign power, however friendly they are now.

          I remember two situation in recent history where UK military operations were and could of been curtailed by the US. Firstly Suez, where basically the US stopped the war because it went against their national interest and Falklands where it was touch and go, with the US wanting to keep Argentina onside. It was only that the cold war trumped that, that allowed access to some critical resources.

          The advantage of Galileo was that the UK military had shared control. They would be in the room where it happened to quote "Hamilton" .Any future Galileo agreement or agreement to use US GPS capabilities would see us as associate partners which could be cut off if necessary (To be honest generally strategically we are closer aligned to Europe interests that US)

          But hey, at least we are taking back control......

          1. Justthefacts

            Re: Actually, this may be a well-disguised win

            Writing this in a lot of places.....

            You have chosen excellent examples :)

            Both Suez and the Falkands are in geographic locations where Galileo accuracy will be poor, compared to GPS, due to the orbits chosen. Galileo would have been useless to guide munitions in those cases.

            This is an engineering forum, so it’s best to put technical engineering before your political propaganda. Sorry young pup.

            1. Charlie Clark Silver badge

              Re: Actually, this may be a well-disguised win

              Both Suez and the Falkands are in geographic locations where Galileo accuracy will be poor, compared to GPS, due to the orbits chosen. Galileo would have been useless to guide munitions in those cases.

              IOW: those stupid Europeans don't even know how to attack the fuzzy-wuzzies!

              1. Justthefacts

                Re: Actually, this may be a well-disguised win

                If you want to descend to ad hominem, a more accurate point would be - perhaps one reason Galileo is over budget and technically poor, because the EU institutions won’t allow non-whites to work on their engineering, whatever is on the passport.

                Compare the ethnic mix of any London-based engineering team, with the “Europeanised” flavour of an “EU” team. This is a game anyone can play by googling EU or ESA conference photos. Here’s one, but there are thousands to choose from, you don’t like my data, make your own!

                https://euclid2018.astro.uni-bonn.de/images/EC2018Bonn_small.jpg

                11 non-whites out of about 300.

                To anyone with a UK engineering background, you literally won’t believe your eyes. My first ESA conference, I walked through the door, and honestly it was the first thing I noticed. It was shocking to me. And if you think 4% representation is bad, wait until you realise that out of dozens of conferences, there has never been a single non-white podium speaker!

                *This* is what institutional racism looks like. And these are the people lecturing to us about open borders. The hypocrisy is astonishing.

                1. Charlie Clark Silver badge

                  Re: Actually, this may be a well-disguised win

                  And these are the people lecturing to us about open borders.

                  … within a single market. An important condition some people seem to like to ignore. Apart from the countries with colonial histories the proportion of non-whites in the population is tiny though that is starting to change quickly in many places: it's a lot cheaper for Indian engineering students to study in Germany than it is in the UK.

                  In any case group photos of NASA aren't much different.

      4. Justthefacts

        Re: Actually, this may be a well-disguised win

        Galileo doesn’t *even* add capability to drop a munition into a bunker.

        Not unless the bunker you are looking for is:

        a) Located in mainland Europe (technical configuration of the constellation and orbits)

        b) *Not* located in one of the EU 27 as politically unallowed to make war against the EU (can you start to see the problem......)

        c) Located in a country where the military political view of the USA differs from that of the EU, like a Russian invasion (otherwise you would just use standard US GPS)

        I think that pretty much limits its use to the War against the People’s Liberation Front of Sark. Those damn Sarkies don’t like it up ‘em sir, they don’t like it up ‘em.

    2. Mage Silver badge

      Re: Road pricing can be done many ways

      The simplest is to abolish all tolls (30% is wasted paying for collection). Abolish the (virtual) Tax Disc and simply increase fuel duties.

      Should be done Europe wide (Oh dear!).

      Then there can be an element of pay as go, penalty on inefficient or heavy use and carbon tax.

      Note electricity and other "cleanish" methods of powering vehicles WILL need to be taxed, at a rising rate as they are adopted.

      Using a Global navigation system to collect tolls is nuts and an invasion of privacy.

    3. Teiwaz Silver badge

      Re: Actually, this may be a well-disguised win

      This and Brexit ought to keep the meddling little elves of the Home Office very busy for quite a long time to come.

      Unfortunately this 'busy' will involve bankrupting the country via one failed IT project after another in the vain attempt to fill out the woolly thinking that comes out of government of late.

    4. Dan 55 Silver badge

      Re: Actually, this may be a well-disguised win

      You'd think so, but the Home Office have found the time to be the modern-day inquisition. Finding people who everyone, including the people themselves, thought they were British for decades, aren't really British, and removing them.

    5. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

      Re: Actually, this may be a well-disguised win

      "Road pricing can be done many ways, but if you are a moderately dim civil servant without much conception of how bloody devious the general public can be if money is involved, then a road pricing scheme involving Galileo looks like a really, really good idea."

      You're getting close to my scheme for getting rid of traffic congestion.

      1. Use road pricing technology to measure how much each vehicle was held up over the course of the year and price it.

      2. Deduct from the sum raised by road taxation the amount actually spent improving the roads.

      3. Deduct from the remainder the cost of congestion measured at step 1 and use it to compensate the drivers. If there isn't enough to cover it divvy up what is left on a pro rata basis.

      4. What's left, if anything, goes into the Exchequer.

      There'll be all manner of road works to reduce congestion over the next few years until some cash starts getting into the Treasury.

  14. phuzz Silver badge

    "with the final system likely over budget and behind schedule."

    Not that these aren't possibilities, but I'd be expecting something technically audacious, which ends up being wildly over-ambitious and ends up being cancelled, with any leftover hardware ending up in a museum somewhere.

    See also: Black Arrow, TSR-2, Rotodyne, HOTOL etc. etc.

    Still, at least Britain's aerospace museums will be great.

    1. Voland's right hand Silver badge

      "with the final system likely over budget and behind schedule."

      Same as all others. Neither GPS, nor GLONASS have kept to their projected schedules very well. It is after all - rocket science.

  15. Kane Silver badge
    Coffee/keyboard

    'We prefer "Brexit Satellite", or BS for short.'

    Bravo. You owe me a new keyboard.

  16. Rameses Niblick the Third Kerplunk Kerplunk Whoops Where's My Thribble? Silver badge

    It's been a while since I used this one but...

    Fine! We'll build our own Satellite based Navigation System! With BlackJack! And Hookers! In fact, forget the Satellite based Navigation System!

    What do you mean "Post Brexit we won't be able to afford the hookers, never mind anything else?"

    Well, shit.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: It's been a while since I used this one but...

      Bite my shiny metal ass-isted GPS!

  17. Andy 73

    No mention...

    Of the weekend resignation of Sam Gyimah, the Science Minister who was overseeing the Galileo discussions? As a Remain voter, his reasons for quitting were interesting, citing frustration over negotiations with the EU on Galileo as a reason for his resignation:

    Having surrendered our voice, our vote and our veto, we will have to rely on the ‘best endeavours’ of the EU to strike a final agreement that works in our national interest. As Minister with the responsibility for space technology I have seen first-hand the EU stack the deck against us time and time again, even while the ink was drying on the transition deal. Galileo is a clarion call that it will be ‘EU first’, and to think otherwise – whether you are a leaver or remainer - is at best incredibly naïve.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: No mention...

      Of course it is 'EU first', even Donald Trump understands that. He actually said in one of his speeches that each country's representatives had to operate for their 'own' interests as a priority (Okay it was probably written for him and he doesn't understand it).

      I find I oscillate between frustration and and amusement that many Leavers (not all, not necessarily the majority) don't seem to comprehend that we helped write (and in some cases instigated) the very rules that the EU are now 'punishing' us with.

      There really is a cluster of leavers that believe that even though WE decided to leave the EU owes us in some vague nebulous way that they can't quite articulate. Bizarre.

      1. Gio Ciampa

        Re: No mention...

        If Gyimah thinks the EU is playing hardball, just wait until Trump gets his turn, when he'll have us in his favourite position (by the short-n-curlies)

        1. Alan Brown Silver badge

          Re: No mention...

          "If Gyimah thinks the EU is playing hardball"

          The USA (and others) are already lining up for a good paddlin' - you can't trade on WTO terms if you're not a member of the WTO and guess who's vetoing the UK's application.

    2. Teiwaz Silver badge

      Re: No mention...

      ‘best endeavours’ is the wrong word - implication is the EU will do their best to accomodate - we'll have the leavings and have to be satisfied.

      Stupid damn decision in the first place - as if by leaving a collective where we'd managed to claw our way up to be a thorn in the side from not even being a founding member that we'd see a return to empire and centre on the world stage and every country would want to sign deals with us because...

      1. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

        Re: No mention...

        "and every country would want to sign deals with us because..."

        That's the bit that so many don't understand. World trade is highly interlinked and interconnected. Most trade deals have built-in caveats which mean, for example, a trade deal between the UK and Australia would almost certainly involve the EU, USA, China and maybe others because any deal with us would affect the deals with those others. This is why trade deals take years to iron out.

    3. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

      Re: No mention...

      "Of the weekend resignation of Sam Gyimah, the Science Minister"

      I haven't looked to see who, if anyone, has replaced him. Would it be too much to hope that they'd find someone who had a STEM background?

  18. Aristotles slow and dimwitted horse Silver badge

    Can't we just use...

    Can't we just use a bunch of Subspace relays and stuff like they do in Star Trek? They seem to do not to badly.

    1. VinceH Silver badge

      Re: Can't we just use...

      I'm sure there must be a way we can use sharks with frikin' lasers.

    2. John G Imrie Silver badge

      Re: Can't we just use...

      If you want a Star Trek analogy then Earth has just voted to leave the Federation.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Can't we just use...

        f you want a Star Trek analogy then Earth has just voted to leave the Federation.

        Nah, the Federation was useful, and likely to last.

  19. 2+2=5 Silver badge

    Genuine question...

    How does the EU expect the UK to take part in NATO exercises (or indeed real battles) if the secret bit of Galileo is denied to us?

    Does NATO think it will never need to use Galileo? Not even for a just-in-case training exercise?

    Or can the secret bit be provided (to the UK) temporarily and then denied again afterwards without impacting the rest of the EU countries?

    1. John Mangan

      Re: Genuine question...

      I would guess that the UK could continue to use the US GPS for military and NATO trials.

      Galileo was just supposed to be an alternative under our (EU) control that the US couldn't cut us off from (so we did that ourselves).

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Genuine question...

      "Oi, British troops! Why are you standing 5 meters away? You should be over here!"

      On this specific point I think we will manage

    3. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge

      Re: Genuine question...

      >How does the EU expect the UK to take part in NATO exercises (or indeed real battles) if the secret bit of Galileo is denied to us?

      Same way it does now. The USA lets its 'friends' have access to GPS for a certain time in a certain region, therefore it gets to decide what Nato can do and where it can do it.

      It also means that everybody has to buy American made precision weapons.

      The main reason for having a Galileo military channel was the option to sell the Saudis British precision guided weapons and that was also the main reason for the British insisting on keeping foreigners out.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Genuine question...

        >The main reason for having a Galileo military channel was the option to sell the Saudis British precision guided weapons and that was also the main reason for the British insisting on keeping foreigners out.

        And the Yanks asked us to, so that it would keep the Chinese out...

    4. Voland's right hand Silver badge

      Re: Genuine question...

      How does the EU expect the UK to take part in NATO exercises (or indeed real battles) if the secret bit of Galileo is denied to us?

      You need to do your homework on both NATO as it is at present and the evolution of American strategic thinking. Allies never had a lot of say where and what they do in the past. They have NONE today. At some point during Bush's time Americans rewrote their strategy to rely on total informational awareness of all of their potential major adversaries. They now have the Russians, the Chinese and a couple of other lower priority potential adversaries catalogued and assigned as targets down to sub-battalion level. Not quite down to individual tanks, but not far off. This is maintained 24x7 and if you are gulping at the thought of how much this costs so am I. This is also the explanation for some rank raving lunacies NATO does sometimes, like the continuous exercise of "right to innocent passage" rewritten as "right of intentional pissing" around Crimea and Kaliningrad this summer. When you are addicted to data and you are missing a puzzle piece you will do some rank raving lunacies to obtain it.

      So on the place of Allies in this picture. "Allies" (quotes needed) have NO ACCESS to the complete data set. They are given stuff to do, provided coordinates by the USA and that is the end of it. They are the cogs in the machine. The whole Atlantic council, etc which never had a lot of decision power is now practically just a facade for the American military planning system and their actual expressions like the F35 "logistics and mission planning cloud". If anyone wondered why and how did NATO country procurement swallowed the F35 peculiar "cloud backend" - here is your answer. Take it or leave it.

      So going back to your question - NATO will never use Galileo as the planning system which is totally controlled by the Americans will always rely on GPS and its availability. The only time Galileo military functionality will become of use will be if the Eu army stops being a vanity project. That, however, means at the very least partial dissolution of NATO.

      So actually, the way the power is laid out on the continent at present, the question of military use of Galileo is in the realm of "who gives a f*ck".

    5. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Genuine question...

      nothing really to do with NATO as NATO is nothing to do with the EU and has quite a few non-EU members, Turkey, Canada, Iceland, Norway, etc

      1. Lars Silver badge
        Coat

        Re: Genuine question...

        "nothing really to do with NATO ".

        i can see your point but "nothing" is a bit strong as it's also true that most of NATO members are EU members too.

        Albania

        Belgium

        Bulgaria

        Canada

        Croatia

        Czech Republic

        Denmark

        Estonia

        France

        Germany

        Greece

        Hungary

        Iceland

        Italy

        Latvia

        Lithuania

        Luxembourg

        Montenegro

        Netherlands

        Norway

        Poland

        Portugal

        Romania

        Slovakia

        For the complete NATO list.

        And there are also some strongly associated countries like Sweden and Finland.

        1. Justthefacts

          Re: Genuine question...

          Trolling, much? You list the EU countries of NATO, but excluding the USA

          1. Rameses Niblick the Third Kerplunk Kerplunk Whoops Where's My Thribble? Silver badge
            Trollface

            Re: Genuine question...

            "i can see your point but "nothing" is a bit strong as it's also true that most of NATO members are EU members too."

            "Trolling, much? You list the EU countries of NATO, but excluding the USA"

            The USA is part of the EU as well now? Good grief, they'll let anyone in now, won't they? First Australia in the Eurovision song contest, now this! Maybe Brexit isn't such a bad idea after all!

    6. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Genuine question...

      How does the EU expect the UK to take part in NATO exercises (or indeed real battles) if the secret bit of Galileo is denied to us?

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

      In most cases the non-secret bit is more than good enough. Rarely would the 3m uncertainty in position that I get with a 7 year old automotive GPS unit be inadequate.

      More advanced professional receivers get centimeter range accuracy out of the same signals.

      The Galileo 'civilian' signal is supposed to be more accurate - so a good receiver should better my experience. I think the uncertainty quoted was 1m?

      There is almost no military application that needs better accuracy than that, and there will be four different GNSS systems delivering that - GPS (civilian signal), GLONASS, Beidou, and Galileo (civilian signal).

      Furthermore, You don't need to use the same GNSS systems, you just have to be able to tell where you are.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Genuine question...

        "More advanced professional receivers get centimeter range accuracy out of the same signals."

        Here's another genuine question then:

        How do they do that? Can 'professional receivers' still do it usefully even without differential GPS (or equivalent), even in realtime, even when moving at significant (but unknown) speed?

    7. Frank Exchange Of Views

      Re: Genuine question...

      Damn, how did the UK take part in NATO exercises when there wasn't a Galileo in place?

  20. Herring`

    Taking back control

    People are missing the massive benefit that a UK positioning system could have. Rather than being shackled to foreign systems like WGS84 - which doesn't even put the Greenwich meridian in the right place - we can use good old OSGB36. Hoorah! Rule Britannia etc.

  21. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Given events during the recent NATO exercise in Norway, perhaps Britain should instead consider rejuvenating eLoran (in cooperation with the Americans), to backup existing GNSS.

  22. arctic_haze Silver badge

    Now UK needs a new referendum

    The question should be whether the UK will stay in or leave the International Telecommunications Union.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Now UK needs a new referendum

      "The question should be whether the UK will stay in or leave the International Telecommunications Union."

      WRONG. SO VERY, VERY WRONG.

  23. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    eLORAN

    GPS based on satellites have been great for past wars. If we stop fighting those, or come up against an adversary not willing to fight past wars, systems based on fragile satellites will be a down fall.

    Even having a fleet of CubeSats ready to go may not be good enough because of the easy with which the most common orbits can be filled with high velocity mines.

    Maybe the UK should consider using the lunar orbit, but even there at least three nations have "easy" access so that orbit isn't particularly safe.

    Enter eLORAN. An updated GEE system, UK only. Could be very useful except it uses stationary transmitters so would have to be harden against attacks. Might be a way to secure air and water after all anyone in the area with permission wouldn't mind if the GPS systems didn't work, they wouldn't be using them.

    A better system would be one that could be installed quickly, relocated quickly, plentiful and cheap. Maybe bonfires on hill tops? Might just be what it takes to win the next big war.

    1. JohnG Silver badge

      Re: eLORAN

      Given that the US is also looking eLoran, due to concerns about jamming/spoofing of GNSS, we could consider doing something in cooperation with them, at least to ensure some compatibility of equipment.

    2. HelpfulJohn

      Re: eLORAN

      " ... easy [SIC] with which the most common orbits can be filled with high velocity mines."

      "High velocity mines" being clouds of grit, muck, dirt, rubble, rocks, steel scrap and odd-shaped rubbish collected from the spaceport kitchen bins all injected into "wrong-way" orbits so the closing velocities make the exact constitution of the "mines" rather moot.

      Lift a few tons of debris laced with boomy stuff. Make it go boom to spread it about a bit. Several years of orbital region denial achieved. Maybe millennia if the badguys dirty-up the geosynchronous orbits.

      It *IS* rocket science but fairly simple examples thereof.

  24. Aladdin Sane Silver badge

    TL;DR

    We're fucked.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: TL;DR

      TL;DR

      Ah, a Remainer, I see.

      1. Aladdin Sane Silver badge

        Re: TL;DR

        What gave it away?

  25. aeonturnip

    The new quantum accelerometers being developed by Imperial College and partners could, if they can be made small enough, mean we don't need to bother with satellite navigation systems at all - if you have a sufficiently accurate and sensitive accelerometer, and you know where it started, then you can work out where it is precisely.

    Let's give the £92m to Imperial to help them develop this tech instead of spunking it on a stupid proposal to spend a further £Xb, where X > 5.

    https://www.imperial.ac.uk/news/188973/quantum-compass-could-allow-navigation-without/

  26. Len Silver badge
    Meh

    We'll spend £1 billion and then cancel it

    I know exactly how this is going to pan out. At the end of the £92 million investigation (the outcome of which will be kept secret) it will be decided that the UK should build its own system. Will it be called the Postoffice Imperial Satellite System?

    £1 billion will be spent on it (coincidentally a joint venture between James Dyson and a cousin of Jeremy Hunt will "win" the tender for a large chunk of it) before it gets cancelled as having been a massive waste of money.

  27. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Politics has changed. The world has changed.

    "We can never forget that we are the servants of the people - and they are increasingly critical of the way that politicians behave.

    People want an end to the sniping, the point scoring, the ranting and raving that often passes for political debate in Britain today. They want a different kind of government. A government that admits when it's got it wrong. A government that owns up to the fact that it doesn't have all the answers. A government that knows that people's lives are too important for politics to be conducted like a playground game.

    We should take back the lead. We should leave the yah-boo stuff to others and instead behave in a way that gives credibility to our promises.

    Politics has changed. The world has changed.

    In today's Britain, we all know that the old binding ties of family or class, the old habits of deference and unquestioning loyalty, the old tribal allegiances of party politics, all these have gone.

    So today's political parties win not because they only hang on to their traditional supporters, but because they understand how the people of Britain live today, and because they offer them solutions that can work in Britain tomorrow."

    Who do you think May have said that, and when and where and in what role do you think they May have said it?

    No prizes, it's just for fun. For her, anyway. For most of us, it's only our futures that May be wrecked because of her and people like her.

    Happy Christmas. Let's hope it's a good one, for old and for young. Exceptions apply. The value of your career may down as well as down (unless you're in the 0.1%).

    Who said it:

    https://conservative-speeches.sayit.mysociety.org/speech/600753

    1. Killing Time

      Re: Politics has changed. The world has changed.

      Errr... Its an aspiration...It's a straight right at the ERG...

      She was handed a busted flush, compounded it by gambling on a snap election to gain a mandate and ended up hamstrung by the vagaries of the Great British electorate....

      There really are far worse political players in the frame who could balls it up even more. Give her a break!

  28. Velv Silver badge
    Mushroom

    We don't need to worry about building our own, there's loads of others out there we can use.

    Its all really easy once we're free of theses EU shackles - we'll be free just to negotiate our own deals with someone and they're all willing to give us the best deals in the world because we're British, we're important. China will be more than willing to help us use their system, probably give us access for free.

    #Sarcasm. Project Fear? Project Truth as it turns out.

  29. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    NAVIC

    Just buy the Indian system.

    It can be part of the new trade deal with the sub-continent. Along with of freedom of movement for Indian nationals.

    Brexit means Brexit! Making Britain Great Again! Sovereignty!

    1. Raj

      Re: NAVIC

      The NAVIC constellation of seven IRNSS satellites covers India and 1500kms past its borders. Nothing to do with the UK in any form.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: NAVIC

        ”uk.gov purchases useless technological white elephant shock ... ”

  30. DougS Silver badge

    Why not use them all?

    Surely a single receiver that used publicly available information from all of GPS, Galileo, GLONASS and Beidu would be nearly as accurate as using one homegrown military-accurate alternative? If those were all turned off at once, there is a pretty big war going on and either the UK is allied with one or more of the participants or if it is the UK vs the world will be blown up regardless.

  31. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

    I'm surprised nobody has come up with the solution close to May's heart. AIUI the UK did the work on the encryption for Galileo. Just put a back door in it that only the UK can use. Problem solved. Let Johnny Foreigner think he's locked us out while we all know better.

  32. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

    "Space policy expert Dr Bleddyn Bowen"

    Another expert. What do they know? We didn't get into the mess we're in where we are today by listening to experts.

  33. CAPS LOCK Silver badge

    I'm not even sure we need all that satellite malarkey...

    ... After all, with a geographically dispersed Commonwealth and eLoran...

  34. HelpfulJohn

    Aggregated UKish System?

    I know this is probably a naff idea full of holes but could UK-minus-NI-Scot-And-Wales-land not just provide its post-Brexit twenty-man Army with a receiver unit that takes calls from both Galileo and GPS and then aggregates or averages the locations provided to get a better, more precise location than either provides individually?

    A unit that, if in furrin parts, also sucks up data from the Indian, Chinese and Whatnot satellites to provide location data down to the millimetre?

    That way, we don't need new satellites, just new receivers. Receivers are easy and dirt cheap and processors are even cheaper.

    Issue resolved for about a quid per unit?

  35. Seven_Spades

    I think that British scientists are being underestimated here. Given a free hand they are quite capable of doing something differently.

    Remember it was this nation that, invented the light bulb(Swan), the jet engine (Frank Whittle), Broke Enigma(Alan Turing), discovered penicillin (Fleming), TV (john Logie Baird), WWW (Tim Berners-Lee), and the list goes on and on.

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