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

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

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    1. John Smith 19 Gold badge
      Trollface

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

      Because you are

      a) A troll?

      b) A delusional f**kwit?

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      "Whilst some here will agree the Brexit and some do not, what I do not understand is why some people seem to think that it is right to punish the UK. "

      Watching from a safe distance (neither UK nor EU) I don't see any 'punishment'.

      The UK is being treated like exactly what it claims it wants to be - a non-member, free of obligation or entanglement, carving its own path to destiny in the global economy.

      Of course, leave advocates promised you could do that while keeping all the benefits of EU membership.

      And British politicians of all parties kept promising one thing to the EU and the exact opposite to the British public - like somehow they thought EU citizens couldn't understand their speeches and press releases. That doubtless cost a lot of credibility and good will. When you prove you can't be trusted, even before a deal is struck, you shouldn't be surprised when the other party is cautious about special privileges.

      And as others noted, a lot of the rules biting the UK now were their own idea.

      A lot of people are tired of listening to Leavers whining about how mean the EU is being to them... pretty much anyone I know is.

      The best, of course, was the British MP condemning the deal for leaving the EU because it didn't give the UK any MEPs. People would find this hard to accept for a character in a black comedy about victims of brain sucking aliens, let alone someone in a position to influence a country's future.

  1. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    What scenario?

    Can anyone please enlighten me about what scenario would make the EU and US deny the UK access to the military signal?

    1. This post has been deleted by its author

    2. Roland6 Silver badge

      Re: What scenario?

      Who said anything about the EU or US denying the UK access, in line with the "taking back control" the UK can't have a third-party supply it with military signal... So it will be the hard Brexiteers complaining that the EU/US are punishing the UK by not allowing the UK to provide the military signal to them.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: What scenario?

        >Who said anything about the EU or US denying the UK access, in line with the "taking back control" the UK can't have a third-party supply it with military signal

        As long as the UK has access to the GPS military signal it will be about as good as the Galileo military signal. So if losing access to Galileo military signal is a problem it implies the UK cannot use the GPS military signal either.

        Hence the question.

    3. Cavehomme_

      Re: What scenario?

      When Corbyn becomes PM?!

    4. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge

      Re: What scenario?

      The UK wants access to Galileo to patrol Gibraltar - Spain says no,

      The Eu/UK send a peacekeeping mission to Gaza - the US blocks GPS

      Britain does another "Falklands" with which ever bit of the empire is left. A US senator has a large immigrant minority from the invaders in their constituency and says no GPS

      Remember in 1982 when the UK was a fairly major NATO ally against the USSR - the USA wasn't exactly on board with Britain attacking one of their staunchly anti-communist dictators in S America. Now when the US president has more important links with Saudi Arabia and Russia than with the UK, how accommodating will they be?

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: What scenario?

        >The UK wants access to Galileo to patrol Gibraltar - Spain says no,

        So what? There is still military GPS and DGPS.

        >The Eu/UK send a peacekeeping mission to Gaza - the US blocks GPS

        Again: so what? There is still military GPS and DGPS. And why should the US block GPS?

        >Britain does another "Falklands" with which ever bit of the empire is left. A US senator has a large immigrant minority from the invaders in their constituency and says no GPS

        One US senator against one of the few reliable allies the US has in the world. Hard choice?

        >Remember in 1982 when the UK was a fairly major NATO ally against the USSR - the USA wasn't exactly on board with Britain attacking one of their staunchly anti-communist dictators in S America. Now when the US president has more important links with Saudi Arabia and Russia than with the UK, how accommodating will they be?

        I know it is popular to consider Americans stupid in general and the president in particular. Do you also think they would go as far as alienating what is practically their only real ally? I do not.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: What scenario?

          "I know it is popular to consider Americans stupid in general and the president in particular. Do you also think they would go as far as alienating what is practically their only real ally? I do not."

          During the Falklands crisis, there was a big fight in the US State department between the South American crowd who considered that continent more important to US interests, and wanted to back Argentina, and the Atlanticist crew who maintained Britain and NATO were more important.

          Eventually the second faction won, but it could have gone either way. If it had gone the other way, chances are the British attempt to regain the Falklands would have failed. Details are too lengthy to get into here, but if you want a good account of both the diplomatic and military aspects, dig up a copy of The Battle for the Falklands, by Max Hastings and Simon Jenkins.

          Not all of the Americans - even the politicians and diplomats - put the UK ahead of other considerations, and any support depends on their internal politics first and foremost. Thinking otherwise is a dangerous delusion.

  2. All names Taken
    Holmes

    A dash of realism?

    Parliament is really all about collecting and spending revenues. It really should not be a shock that some spending was a bit wasteful. It is something that happens in every household.

    A major difference is that in every household some persons are accountable for it - at all if not most levels of accountability. The shame about UK system is that those people are not held accountable and that really is a shocker?

  3. #define INFINITY -1

    "lousy t-shirt"

    "I can't believe it's not butter" I'll sing as I'm flogged?

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: "lousy t-shirt"

      "I can't believe it's not butter"

      There will be chlorinated chicken and growth-hormone beef. Our own farmers will be offered small subsidies to keep the countryside looking suitably theme park bucolic for US tourists. Villages will have their ragged barefoot urchins and smocked farmhands available for selfies.

      1. Terry 6 Silver badge

        Re: "lousy t-shirt"

        The middle classes ( mostly Remainers) will be buying organic chickens, guaranteed no chlorine etc. from Waitrose. And Organic veg for the vegetarians

        The poorer folk, more likely to be Leavers, will be eating rats' hairs (to the permitted maximum number per portion ) and chlorinated chickens.

        'Twas ever thus.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: "lousy t-shirt"

          'will be eating rats' hairs (to the permitted maximum number per portion)'

          Somebody else was watching the Mash Report last night.

          1. Terry 6 Silver badge

            Re: "lousy t-shirt"

            I already knew. Twitter, but verified from quoted regulation documents. (Or was it quoted in the Grauniad? Can't remember. It was weeks ago. Mash Report a bit slow to catch that one)

          2. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: "lousy t-shirt"

            'will be eating rats' hairs (to the permitted maximum number per portion)'

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

            Realistically, it is almost impossible, as well as very inefficient, to try to keep all rat hairs, mouse droppings, insect parts, and similar materials out of the food chain.

            A small amount of this is of no import, particularly if you are cooking whatever it is to a temperature that will kill bacteria.

            Better to be honest, and set reasonable levels for such things.

        2. John Smith 19 Gold badge
          Unhappy

          The poorer folk, more likely to be Leavers, will be eating rats' hairs... chlorinated chickens.

          Thus teaching possibly the most valuable lesson of all.

          "Never trust a Tory posh boy."

          They say "Experience is a hard task master, but some people won't learn any other way."

          True that.

          Bon appetit to your pullet chlorine mon amis.

      2. Mephistro Silver badge
        Joke

        Re: "lousy t-shirt"

        "I can't believe it's not butter"

        And the most sold book will be "1001 Recipes with leather shoes", and the second one will be "How to build your own narco-sub, for dummies".

      3. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: "lousy t-shirt"

        There will be chlorinated chicken and growth-hormone beef.

        There already is. Plenty of it. You are just not reading the news carefully.

        1. Chlorinated chicken and hormone beef are allowed in a number of countries from ex-USSR.

        2. They are shipped via 3 Eu countries(*) where embargo-busting is a major GDP contributor on par with the way it was in Bulgaria during the Yugo conflict. They collectively imported 260M worth of Eu fruit and other foodstuffs last year and exported 260M of "African" fruit, wine and foodstuffs(**). African pears and Camembert. Bwahahaha... They laundered 100Bn worth of money laundry fund transfers in last year alone.

        3... 4... 5... 6...

        So, back to the chlorinated chicken. As of beginning of November all permits for shipping Chlorinated Chicken and Hormone Beef across Russia to Kazahstan, Uzbekistan, etc have been withdrawn. Bonus question - where is all the Chlorinated chicken which was supposed to go there. IT IS NOT IN THE COUNTRIES IN QUESTION - they do not have the storage capacity and they specialize in falsifying documents on goods. I would suggest you carefully examine what you are eating, especially if it is ready made food... It is not the first time too - it is a recurring event.

        (*)The economies of these countries get close to 25% of their GDP from sanctions busting, embargo avoidance and money laundry. Key figures in their politics are involved too - up to relevant ministers and families of the president(s). They are as addicted to this as Bulgaria was in the 90-es (it took a decade to clear the grey economy there).

        (**)Data published by one of Belgian broadsheets 2 weeks ago

  4. Trollslayer Silver badge
    Flame

    UK contributions

    How much has the UK paid to prop up Grexit, bribing Eastern European countries - sorry subsidising - to join the EU?

    1. codejunky Silver badge

      Re: UK contributions

      @ Trollslayer

      Not forgetting the signed agreement Cameron was proud of that our contribution would not be used to bail out Greece. And of course it then was.

    2. Cavehomme_

      Re: UK contributions

      The idea was that it’s better to reach out help bring the destitute former Communist countries up to a much higher standard, rather than left them fester in misery.

      Meanwhile doing that was a pretty good insurance policy to avoid another destructive war in Europe since we’re all in the EU club.

      The cost of mutual help is far less than fighting wars and rebuilding from them, that’s just in economic terms, but what about the human benefits.

      Unfortunately sociopathic Brexteers can’t fathom this apparently.

      1. Killing Time

        Re: UK contributions

        Not to mention them being a willing market for our products and services. Take a look around Greece and it's islands. Every other vehicle is from a German manufacturer. The Greek bailout didn't come without conditions.

      2. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge

        Re: UK contributions

        >The idea was that it’s better to reach out help bring the destitute former Communist countries up to a much higher standard, rather than left them fester in misery.

        So not to move NATO to the Russian border ?

      3. ITfarmer

        Re: UK contributions

        I see it was to help stop another destructive war in Europe ?

        Hmmm.

        So what happened when the EU funded the Ukrainian war then ?

        5 Billion Euros given to party not elected in Ukraine .. which then caused a civil war .. with the only Russian naval base in the Mediterranian .. Russia being the second most powerful Nuclear Super Power.

        I applaud your moronic attitude .. how about getting a reality check. I don't an EU funded war with Russua.

        Never mind the hypocrasy of Germany giving Russia money whilst getting military support and financial support from the USA and the rest of Europe .. against Russia.

        What would you call a mutliple layer of Morons ? Schizo morons ?

        1. JLV Silver badge

          Re: UK contributions

          Georgia, Moldavia, Chechnya, Ukraine, Estonia cyberattacks. Gay rights snafus. Dead Russian opposition politicians. bogus elections. MH 217. Magnetsky.

          All funded by the EU.

          Do go on, Herr Putain.

          one thing I grant you, NATO-near-border is way too provocative, except for Baltics. But actually probably suits Vlad just right, more enemies abroad to sell.

  5. Boris the Cockroach Silver badge
    IT Angle

    The whole

    brexit thing has been a clusterfuck of unimaginable proportions.

    Take migration... (actually migration problems are really caused by westminister doing things such as not bothering to check how many people are coming here vs the expansion in services/housing to cope...BOTH parties are equally as guilty of this as the other.)

    What should have been said is "EU nationals working here pre-brexit have an unlimited time to remain here, post brexit, EU nationals get the same rights as the rest of the world"

    If the EU wanted to play silly buggers around that, we restate the 1st phrase

    Sadly the 'government' (read 300 cats in a sack) decided to do things differently, then have a leadership election.... then an actual election (needing the support of some northern irish throwbacks.. when will they realise its not 1689 anymore!!) hence we're in clusterfuck.

    1. John Smith 19 Gold badge
      Coat

      "brexit thing has been a clusterfuck of unimaginable proportions."

      Wrong tense, Boris.

      This is just the preamble. It hasn't happened yet.

      "brexit thing will be a clusterfuck of unimaginable proportions."

      FTFY.

      By which time I expect even the hard line brexiteers will be posting AC.

      1. Aladdin Sane Silver badge
        Flame

        Re: "brexit thing has been a clusterfuck of unimaginable proportions."

        Has been, will be, and currently is.

  6. Poncey McPonceface

    UK joining Indonesia and Brasil?

    I like tables so I put together this handy guide to satellite navigation in the top 10 economies of the world.

    country global nss regional nss gdp 2017 (ppp) share %

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

    1 China BeiDou-2 (2020) BeiDou-1 23159.107 18.2

    2 U.S. GPS 19390.6 15.3

    3 India NAVIC 9459.002 7.45

    4 Japan QZSS 5428.813 4.27

    5 Germany Galileo (2020) 4170.79 3.28

    6 Russia GLONASS 4007.831 3.15

    7 Indonesia 3242.771 2.55

    8 Brazil 3240.319 2.55

    9 U.K. #Brexit ? 2914.042 2.29

    10 France Galileo (2020) DORIS 2835.746 2.23

  7. Wolfclaw

    Simple answer, no access, take £1Bn out of the devource payment, what is the EU going to do ?

    1. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge

      >Simple answer, no access, take £1Bn out of the devource payment, what is the EU going to do ?

      Ban all British companies for bidding for future Eu work with security implications (allowed under WTO).

      1. ITfarmer

        Not it isn't allowed under WTO rules at all.

        Any movement on trade or tariffs or punitive action .. such as banning companies has massive consequences.

        A "Divorce Deal", especially one where no payment is legally required, is NOT covered in WTO rules.

        1. Tom 7 Silver badge

          Re: Not it isn't allowed under WTO rules at all.

          So? It will be at least 8 years before we are a member of the WTO and legally covered by those rules - according to the WTO, That is assuming we are allowed to join - the US wants us to sell them the NHS on the cheap before they give their agreement and Argentina is looking at some islands just off their coast...

          1. Roland6 Silver badge

            Re: Not it isn't allowed under WTO rules at all.

            And then that trade deal with the EU: Spain will have the opportunity to veto it, if they don't get what they want over Gibraltar, Greece likewise will naturally request the Elgin Marbles or veto it...

            Expect the UK to get a good kicking in the coming years, all because the UK decided to open Pandora's box...

          2. EvilDrSmith Bronze badge

            Re: Not it isn't allowed under WTO rules at all.

            Tom,

            The UK already is a member of the World Trade Organisation.

            https://www.wto.org/english/thewto_e/countries_e/united_kingdom_e.htm

            We are already covered by WTO rules (as is the EU) and hence we already trade in accordance with WTO rules, either in accordance with trade agreements negotiated by the EU, or under the normal 'most favoured nation status' for nations with which we have no deal.

            If we revert to trading with the EU under WTO rules (the 'No deal' option) no doubt there will be some issues that need to be sorted out, but we will nevertheless be legally covered by the WTO rules.

            Additionally, a number of the nations with trade deals with the EU have already stated publically that, for their part, they intend those trade deals to be rolled forward such that they continue to apply to the UK once outside the EU.

            1. Richard 12 Silver badge

              Re: Not it isn't allowed under WTO rules at all.

              We're not a WTO member. We have associate membership as part of our EU membership.

              We will need to negotiate with the WTO to join in our own right and hope to transfer our existing quotas etc from the EU membership umbrella out into our own rain.

              This should be relatively easy, so will probably only take two to three years.

              1. EvilDrSmith Bronze badge

                Re: Not it isn't allowed under WTO rules at all.

                Richard 12,

                From the WTO page on the UK:

                "This page gathers information on the United Kingdom's participation in the WTO. The United Kingdom has been a WTO member since 1 January 1995 and a member of GATT since 1 January 1948. It is a member State of the European Union (more info). All EU member States are WTO members, as is the EU (until 30 November 2009 known officially in the WTO as the European Communities for legal reasons) in its own right"

                No mention of associate membership there.

                And later, in discussing groups of countries:

                "The largest and most comprehensive group is the European Union and its 28 member states. The EU is a customs union with a single external trade policy and tariff. While the member states coordinate their position in Brussels and Geneva, the European Commission alone speaks for the EU at almost all WTO meetings. The EU is a WTO member in its own right as are each of its member states."

                So the WTO clearly thinks that the UK is (already) a member in our own right.

            2. Anonymous Coward
              Anonymous Coward

              Re: Not it isn't allowed under WTO rules at all.

              The UK already is a member of the World Trade Organisation.

              https://www.wto.org/english/thewto_e/countries_e/united_kingdom_e.htm

              We are already covered by WTO rules (as is the EU) and hence we already trade in accordance with WTO rules, either in accordance with trade agreements negotiated by the EU, or under the normal 'most favoured nation status' for nations with which we have no deal.

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

              Not exactly. You are part of the WTO as part of the EU.

              When you leave the EU, you will no longer be part of the WTO.

              The UK has attempted to fast-track re-entry to the WTO, which can only happen if no WTO members object.

              At this point about 20 WTO members have objected to fast-tracking, including the United States, Australia, and New Zealand (all Leaver targets for fast, easy, profitable trade deals).

              Welcome to reality.

              1. EvilDrSmith Bronze badge

                Re: Not it isn't allowed under WTO rules at all.

                Sorry, which part of the WTO's own statement that:

                "The EU is a WTO member in its own right as are each of its member states."

                leads you to think that the UK is not a member of the WTO in it's own right?

                I like reality, it has less Zombies in it than the worlds that some pro-remain people seem to inhabit.

                1. Anonymous Coward
                  Anonymous Coward

                  Re: Not it isn't allowed under WTO rules at all.

                  Sorry, which part of the WTO's own statement that:

                  "The EU is a WTO member in its own right as are each of its member states."

                  leads you to think that the UK is not a member of the WTO in it's own right?

                  I like reality, it has less Zombies in it than the worlds that some pro-remain people seem to inhabit.

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

                  I think you may be having trouble parsing this.

                  The EU is a member in its own right - recognized as a member.

                  The EU member states are members and recognized as such.

                  The UK will remain a member until 2300 on March 29 2019 with all the WTO rights and privileges that go with that status. The fact that some of those cannot be exercised due to EU rules has nothing to do with the WTO.

                  At that point, the UK will no longer be a member of the WTO as an EU member state. While technically a member of the WTO, it is no longer party to tariff and quota deals via the EU, and its membership needs a new document setting out UK tariff and quota rules. That document can only be quickly finalized with universal WTO member agreement. Twenty countries have objected so far, because of the detriments of trading with the UK out of the EU context, which is not as advantageous as having a quota that can be freely redirected among 28 countries.

                  One also suspects that the current trading partners see a chance to renegotiate for more advantageous terms with a less powerful and desirable UK market. Furthermore, any changes that affect EU quotas will in essence be three way deals involving the UK, another WTO member, and the EU. That should be fun, in and of itself.

                  Among the countries raising concerns were Moldova, the US, New Zealand, Japan, South Korea, Ukraine, Canada, Australia and Israel. One should note that one of the issues was faster and better access to visas. And we already know that India wants improved immigration access to the UK. Have fun taking control, guys.

                  If you want more data, try searching 'uk fast track wto membership objections'.

                  1. EvilDrSmith Bronze badge

                    Re: Not it isn't allowed under WTO rules at all.

                    No problem at all with the grammar.

                    The UK is a member of WTO

                    On leaving the EU, we are still a member of WTO.

                    We then find ourselves without agreed schedules, so need to submit these for WTO approval, as per the WTO rules. These will be reviewed in accordance with the rules of the WTO. Other countries may object, but fortunately, WTO is a rules based organisation, so the objections have to be based on something other than an attempt to gain an unfair advantage.

                    What you forget to mention is that proposed fast track schedules for the UK are also accompanied by the EU attempting to reduce the quantities listed under their schedule - the proposal is that the current EU schedules are divided between UK and EU (that's already agreed between UK and EU).

                    If you are correct that this somehow renders the UK not party to WTO, then the same logic means the EU is also no longer party to the WTO.

                    It's also a lot more likely that the UK will simply agree to up the quantities permitted under the UK schedules, thus immediately addressing the concerns raised by third party countries, than it is that the EU will agree to keep the quantities listed in its schedule unchanged following the UK departure.

    2. Paul Stimpson

      "Simple answer, no access, take £1Bn out of the devource payment, what is the EU going to do ?"

      Then countries all round the world will see we don't stick to our end of the bargain when we make an agreement and no longer consider us a good-faith negotiating partner. Just what we need when we're trying to negotiate trade deals for "Global Britain."

      1. Terry 6 Silver badge

        Add screw our credit rating, massively increase the cost of our international borrowing and lose any goodwill and trust from any trading negotiations for decades to come.

        But hey. Blue passports (in our long non-EU queue when we go to Majorca or Ibizia for our two weeks of sun).

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Add screw our credit rating, massively increase the cost of our international borrowing and lose any goodwill and trust from any trading negotiations for decades to come.

          Wouldn't affect credit rating at all. This isn't a retail banking operation whereby your credit score on Experian is marked down FFS.

          As for a long non-EU queue when we go to Majorca etc for our two weeks of sun - there's plenty of sunny places on the planet and a bit of exploring will show you that the Med is a bit of a shit-hole really.

          1. Terry 6 Silver badge

            You don't even know that nations have international credit ratings, from A++ down. Which has a dramatic effect on the cost of govt. borrowing. And you are making claims about Brexit?

    3. strum

      >what is the EU going to do

      Perhaps point out that UK is a welcher - not a good look as we try to re-negotiate 700 trade deals.

    4. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Correctly classify the UK as a bunch of cheats who don't pay their debts and can't be trusted.

      Further consequences will follow from that.

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