back to article EU tells UK: Cut the BS, sign here, and you can have access to Galileo sat's secure service

Hidden away in the document laying out the starting position for EU and UK negotiations lies an interesting nugget for those following the tortured tales of the European satellite navigation system, Galileo. With Brexit "done" (we have a tea towel on order saying it so it must be true), the starting position for the future …

  1. adam 40 Bronze badge
    Mushroom

    WW III

    Now we are out of the EU the next logical step (according to many - not me) is another war in Europe.

    If we are at war with Europe our security keys to the Galileo PRS will be revoked immediately.

    So - what's the use of having it?

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: WW III

      I guess the thinking is that we would be unlikely to be denied both Galileo and GPS services simultaneously. If we were, GNSS access might not be our biggest concern.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      If Trump puts US troops in Russian hands...

      You clearly joke, but a more realistic scenario is:

      1) UK shares info with US on the current keys for Galileo. 5 Eyes beats EU-UK relations.

      2) Trump puts US troops under Russian command. Remember Helsinki? When Trump agreed to joint US-Russian operations in Syria? Joint operations have rotating leadership, that would put US troops under Russian command. Not exactly a good thing when Russia is bombing US allies and US bases in Syria!

      3) Galileo is compromised. EU pulls the security keys, no war, just Putin laughing his c**k off at how easy it was to beat America.

      So of course they want to keep control of the keys.

      IMHO, They'd be better off tackling that Putin Oligarch in Vienna that the Republicans keep visiting. Because that money flow is what's corrupting the GOP and compromising the security of the west. They're not really putting party above country, they're putting self interest, especially $$$ self interest above country.

      And Ukraine? They should restart that investigation into the Manasfort money flow. The one they stopped when Trump threatened to block Rapier missile shipments unless they killed the Manasfort Russian money investigation.

      Expose the flow of Russian money into GOP pockets and you break the control.

      1. phuzz Silver badge

        Re: If Trump puts US troops in Russian hands...

        "1) UK shares info with US on the current keys for Galileo.

        [...]

        3) Galileo is compromised. EU pulls the security keys"

        Erm, I'm not sure you understand how cryptographic keys work.

        If the ESA revoked the UK's keys, then all that would happen would be that the UK could not use the precise PRS part of the Galileo system. All the other EU countries will have their own indevidual keys, so they'll be fine, and the public Galileo signals will still work (which when combined with the public GPS and GLONASS signals will still be plenty precise).

        1. MatthewSt Bronze badge

          Re: If Trump puts US troops in Russian hands...

          Ah, but now we hold all the cards then surely we can make them build a back door into it, as encryption is only used by terrorists isn't it? Am I doing this government thing right?

    3. NoneSuch Silver badge

      The Up Side

      With the magnificent way BREXIT is being managed, you can rest assured that the GPS issues will be sorted by the government. Then you'll know exactly where you are, while waiting on the next delayed food shipment to arrive.

      1. Anonymous Custard Silver badge
        Trollface

        Re: The Up Side

        Yup, you will know exactly where you are ("Here").

        Of course knowing where here is in relation to anywhere else is an entirely different question...

        Still at least the Brexit Satellite should also have nice clean telephones, if the prescience of Mr Adams can be relied upon (and it's so far more reliable than much else in this matter).

        1. Glen 1 Silver badge

          Re: The Up Side

          Given current events, telephone sanitisers could well be of more immediate use than another GPS system.

    4. razorfishsl

      Re: WW III

      The British developed the crypto for the thing.....

      1. Ben Tasker Silver badge

        Re: WW III

        If I remember correctly we also developed the rule that said that non-Member states can't have access to the secure parts - and then insisted on it.

      2. Len Silver badge

        Re: WW III

        True, although it doesn’t really matter who built it. Unless you know the key that is used for the encryption, having built it doesn’t add anything.

        Some of the best crypto libraries are Open Source but without the right key that I use for encrypted comms even the people who built it can’t make sense of what I send over the line.

        1. Ringo Star

          Re: WW III

          I know im late to the party (I just found this article)

          What about the NSA then. They "built" or helped build DES and then stuck weakened "S boxes" in it that was essentially a backdoor (in so far as NSA had the computing power to brute force it). That weakness wasn't found by cryptographic experts for a very long time. So yeah, if you helped build it there's a possibility you know it's weaknesses or even help design weaknesses into the system which can go undetected at least for a while.

    5. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: WW III

      Sextants and Harrison clocks at the ready.

    6. WillCunningham

      Re: WW III

      I don't recall any news about a European nation pulling itself out of the Central Banking system...

      So I wouldn't worry about a war.

    7. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: WW III

      Galileo is somewhat rubbish anyway. The people running it have so far demonstrated a miserable level of system governance, having a week long whoopsie due to probable incompetence followed more recently by utterly useless reports into the incident and recommendations so vague as to be as applicable to my long dead grandmother as they are to an organisation running a multi-billion sat nav system. Until they cut the BS in how Galileo is run as a governed system, there’s practically no point involving it in anything that’s “mission critical”.

    8. Venerable and Fragrant Wind of Change

      Re: WW III

      So - what's the use of having it?

      It's a charade.

      Now that we've agreed to strip out Huawei, at considerable expense to BT and Vodafone and much more to our own economy, the NSA will allow us access to their purloined keys. What do you think Menwith Hill is for?

  2. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Were we not told...

    That the EU needed us more than the other way round?

    It don't look like that is anywhere remotely close to the truth.

    The noises coming from our clearly right-wing Gubbermint is 'On yer bike' (As long as it is a Boris Bike naturally)

    1. IsJustabloke

      Re: Were we not told...

      Whether you like it or not from a military POV they do.

      1. LegalAlien

        Re: Were we not told...

        ... and NATO is still in place

    2. Len Silver badge
      Thumb Up

      Re: Were we not told...

      Don't worry, the Galileo scenario is already prepared using the tried and tested Brexit formula of signing up to whatever the EU27 want us to sign up to and then present it as a victory back home.

    3. macjules Silver badge
      Meh

      Re: Were we not told...

      And the Boris Bikes were sold to a Spanish bank .. odd that.

      1. Admiral Grace Hopper

        Re: Were we not told...

        And the "Boris" bikes scheme was planned and partly implemented by Livingstone's city hall before "Boris" took over - he just took the credit. Yer man Johnson gave us the Emirates cable car and an un-built bridge.

        1. Len Silver badge
          Happy

          Re: Were we not told...

          True, I remember when Lingstone visited the 'Velib' system in Paris and announced he would bring a similar scheme to London.

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: Were we not told...

            Fortunately we got a working system, instead.

        2. Fred Dibnah Silver badge

          Re: Were we not told...

          Not just an unbuilt bridge, an unbuilt bridge on which millions of pounds disappeared into his friends' pockets.

          1. Fred Dibnah Silver badge

            Re: Were we not told...

            I don't normally do this, but I'm genuinely curious why I've been downvoted. Anyone?

            1. Anonymous Coward
              Anonymous Coward

              Re: Were we not told...

              Because you upset some Tory readers of El Reg. The type who moan about immigrants paying no tax while spending hours looking for ways to pay less tax themselves.

              1. Fred Dibnah Silver badge

                Re: Were we not told...

                Indeed. And now my post asking why I've been downvoted has itself been downvoted. I won't ask why, otherwise this will never stop :-)

                1. adam 40 Bronze badge

                  Re: Were we not told...

                  I wasn't going to downvote you until you started whinging about it.

                  Hell, my WW III joke has been downvoted 45 times (and counting) you don't see me throwing my toys out of the pram!!!

                  1. Fred Dibnah Silver badge

                    Re: Were we not told...

                    I wasn't whinging (sic) about it, I was, as I said, genuinely curious. No pram with toys here.

    4. H in The Hague Silver badge

      Re: Were we not told...

      "The noises coming from our clearly right-wing Gubbermint ..."

      Well, Mr Johnson has also complained that the EU stops him giving financial support to ailing industries - in my view that is clearly stolen from the Labour manifesto (Mr Corbyn has uttered similar mutterings). And, speaking as a moderate free marketeer, not something I'm impressed by.

      1. Stork Silver badge

        Re: Were we not told...

        I think (as in I have a recollection but am not sure) that pre-Thatcher Tory governments supported ailing industries; reading the stories in DK newspapers in the 80es the UK did not seem to have many that were not ailing. In fact the subsidies continued; much of the unrest was due to the reduction of support, wasn't it?

        Of course some will claim that pre-Thatcher tories were not right wing.

        1. MJI Silver badge

          Re: Were we not told...

          I think (as in I have a recollection but am not sure) that pre-Thatcher Tory governments supported ailing industries

          Rolls Royce during RB211 development

    5. Warm Braw Silver badge

      Re: Were we not told...

      One of the places I might have ended up spending Brexit was Toulouse. One of the things I contemplated doing there was going on a tour of the Airbus factory. If you're not an EU citizen you need to give a few days notice of your planned visit: I don't know if they actually vet you, or it's just a bit of Gallic hauteur. I wouldn't technically have been an EU citizen on the days there were places available but, as I decided on Venice in the end, I didn't find out whether I'd be cut any slack during the transition period.

      Still, it will be an interesting position for a company - which claims to be Britain’s largest space company, a world-leader in cyber security, and the biggest supplier of large aircraft to the RAF - to take with UK citizens. Not that we'll be UK citizens for that much longer, of course.

      1. amanfromMars 1 Silver badge

        Why you are not told is always a Safely Secured State Secret in Proprietary Intellectual Property

        a company - which claims to be Britain’s largest space company, a world-leader in cyber security, and the biggest supplier of large aircraft to the RAF .... Warm Braw

        Being right in two out of three aint bad, Warm Braw, for one of those claims is fabulously outrageous, and extremely easily realised as demonstrably so.

      2. Wellyboot Silver badge

        Re: Were we not told...

        >>>just a bit of Gallic hauteur<<< unlikely.

        I visited a Nortel (long gone) site in France a dozen years ago and the receptionist was a bit surprised that The UK & US peeps in the group didn't have national ID cards.

    6. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Were we not told...

      the only thing that the EU might want from the UK post-brexit, is fishing rights. Given that the UK, post-brexit, wants EVERYTHING, and has nothing but those fishing rights to trade, something tells me...

      actually, even though I'm on the same UK boat, I would not mind a no-deal crashout, though something tells me people never learn from their mistakes, we'll just blame the UE, what else? :)

      1. Jon 37

        Re: Were we not told...

        I suspect the EU would also like a free trade deal, so it can continue selling to us. But only if that deal includes the UK continuing with EU standards on everything, and the UK has ruled that out.

        The EU is not going to allow us tariff-free access if we're going to trash worker or environmental protection to make our products cheaper, or if we're going to provide state aid to certain companies so they can undercut the EU market prices. They (quite reasonably) want to have tariffs that at least compensate for those factors.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: I suspect the EU would also like a free trade deal

          well, yeah, but no but... yes, they kind of "would like" to have a free trade deal with the UK, but then do they REALLY, BADLY want, and more importantly NEED such a deal? Sure, it'd help to deal with your close (well, geographically) neighbour, but if the UK were to throw a tantrum again to show them who's boss, well, the EU won't despair and suffer badly, they'll just let us rot in peace.

        2. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Were we not told...

          "...if we're going to trash worker or environmental protection to make our products cheaper, or if we're going to provide state aid to certain companies..."

          EU better not buy anything from China then, even without an EU free trade deal they seem to be quite competitive.

  3. steelpillow Silver badge
    Joke

    Musky BS

    We should contract SpaceX to throw up vast amounts of small-BS which will interfere with Galileo via digital broadcasts of "Land of Hope and Glory." Maybe offer His Muskiness honorary citizenship and a well-paid job as adviser to Boris on press relations. If we are going to Trump (sic) the EU, we should do the job properly.

    1. Alister Silver badge

      Re: Musky BS

      Maybe offer His Muskiness honorary citizenship

      As a South African, he would have been a Commonwealth citizen if he'd been born a few years earlier...

      Ask the Windrush folk how well that went...

      1. Fred Dibnah Silver badge

        Re: Musky BS

        He'd be OK, he's the correct shade of South African.

    2. FrogsAndChips Silver badge
      Coat

      Re: Musky BS

      adviser to Boris on press relations

      Does that involve pole dancing?

      1. Steve Davies 3 Silver badge
        Joke

        Re: Boris on press relations

        Is Boris going to bring back the 'Press Gang"?

    3. codejunky Silver badge

      Re: Musky BS

      @steelpillow

      "We should contract SpaceX to throw up vast amounts of small-BS which will interfere with Galileo"

      Why? The uptime threshold is so low they can lose a week and everything looks good in the reports. And we are screwed if we wait for German planes and Pilots to help fight a war. The only one to arrive will be the war minister (now EU president).

  4. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Sounds like an excellent plot line for a new series of Hyperdrive.

    I miss that series. Exactly as I imagine UK efforts in space!

    1. TRT Silver badge

      Avenue 5 is pretty close to it, TBH.

  5. AIBailey Silver badge
    Joke

    Behold, the Brexit Satellite

    Those egg-carton solar panels, Mr Kipling foil tray antennas and yoghurt pot thrusters look just like the real thing.

    Blue Peter will be proud.

    1. John H Woods Silver badge

      Re: Behold, the Brexit Satellite

      surely you cannot have forgotten 'sticky backed plastic'

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Behold, the Brexit Satellite

      Are you aware that British companies built the Galileo IOV satellites and significant chunks of those that have come since?

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Behold, the Brexit Satellite

        Are you aware that the joke icon means you shouldn't take comments too seriously?

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Behold, the Brexit Satellite

          >Are you aware that the joke icon means you shouldn't take comments too seriously?

          Are you aware that serious points are often disguised as jokes ?

  6. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Little Englander Satellite System

    Can't call it "BS"? Don't worry, name it after the types who pushed for Brexit and this sort of unnecessary crap instead.

    The entire UK- and particularly those of us in Scotland- will surely appreciately having LESS as a result of their "efforts"...

    1. Twanky Bronze badge

      Re: Little Englander Satellite System

      Crivens!

      1. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

        Re: Little Englander Satellite System

        Help ma boab!

  7. Alister Silver badge

    foot, shot.

    Not mentioned in the article, but it is my clear recollection that it was the UK representatives to the GNSS Steering Committee who insisted that the clause disbarring countries from outside the EU from using Galileo was included in the Treaty, and would be stringently enforced.

    1. Wellyboot Silver badge

      Re: foot, shot.

      Now that the UK has actually left, all the UK gov. & EU political minds are now turning to trade negotiations where both sides can easily spin any deal as a win.

      Allowing the UK to stay in the Galileo project (& continuing to pay a big wedge) is but a small change to an existing set of rules that will be called a pragmatic move by all concerned when it eventually happens.

      1. Lunatik

        Re: foot, shot.

        "Both sides"?

        You'd be surprised how little the rest of Europe cares about this stuff now, if it ever really did. There is almost no capital in trumpeting anything as a 'win' here in the same manner as the war-metaphor-obsessed UK Gov feels the need to.

    2. Jamie Jones Silver badge

      Re: foot, shot.

      PROJECT FEAR!!

      The unelected GNSS/EU was a dictatorship that forced us to do everything its evil socialist fascist globalist nationalist leaders wanted. At no point did we have any say, which is why we've taken our sovereignty back!

      What do you mean we are less sovereign under Boris's plans than we were when we were in the EU?

      PROJECT FEAR!!

      Besides, you can't change my mind. I don't even know what soverignty means. But we got it back, so that's good. It's the will of the people after all. We got brexit done.

      </sarc>

      1. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge

        Re: foot, shot.

        The Eu should keep its satellites but thy wont be allowed to orbit over British waters, they will be forced to stop and turn back at the 200mi limit.

        British satellites, equipped with the new Armstrong-Whitworth 6lb canon will be free to orbit the high spaces where they please.

        There only remains the task for proper British boffins to solve the problem of making the Union Jack flutter properly in space

        1. Alister Silver badge

          Re: foot, shot.

          The Eu should keep its satellites but thy wont be allowed to orbit over British waters, they will be forced to stop and turn back at the 200mi limit.

          Ironically, Brussels is less than 200 miles from the Dover coast...

          1. Len Silver badge
            Devil

            Re: foot, shot.

            Or, all of the English South East coastline lies in Belgium's 200 mile zone.

        2. vtcodger Silver badge

          Re: foot, shot.

          Miles? Pounds? You folks planning on going back to Imperial units of measure?

          1. TRT Silver badge

            Re: foot, shot.

            "You folks planning on going back to Imperial units of measure?"

            Blasted rebels.

            Aren't you a little short for a StormTrooper? Under 187.96cm.

            Something, something, something... Dark Side... something.

          2. Stork Silver badge

            Re: foot, shot.

            Don't be silly - it is obviously nautical miles (~1852m). The ones typically used when measuring over or through fluids.

            1. quxinot Silver badge
              Pint

              Re: foot, shot.

              >Don't be silly - it is obviously nautical miles (~1852m). The ones typically used when measuring over or through fluids.<

              Does that include how far you have to walk when you're clearly viewing through a haze of fluids? --->

          3. CrazyOldCatMan Silver badge

            Re: foot, shot.

            You folks planning on going back to Imperial units of measure?

            Most of the old (and some young) fogeys never stopped using them..

            (I'm mid-50's and still subconsiously thing in terms of miles. But for everything else, I tend to think in metric..)

            1. MJI Silver badge

              Re: foot, shot.

              Imperial and Metric

              I use both

              Miles for distance, HP for car power, but NM for torque, fuel in litres but quick conv to gallons for consumption.

              DIY all mm and m, none of this cm or inch nonsense.

              Use kg most for weight except people weight when stones, converting stones to pounds is easy

              10 stone x 6.35 = 63.5kg, 63.5 x 2.2 = 140 pound, I do not know how many pounds in a stone, some even teen number I think.

              1. MJI Silver badge

                Re: foot, shot.

                Made an error. Nm correct not NM.

                Shift was slow being released.

        3. Dr_N Silver badge

          Re: foot, shot.

          Yet Another Anonymous coward> There only remains the task for proper British boffins to solve the problem of making the Union Jack flutter properly in space

          I would suggest the more pressing task fir proper British boffins would be for them to come up with a way to stop people flying the Union Flag upside down. This has reached epidemic proportions these last few years.

          1. John H Woods Silver badge

            " stop people flying the Union Flag upside down."

            Could I suggest sticking a Welsh Dragon on it? Even a numpty can tell whether that's upside-down or not!

            1. Dr_N Silver badge
              Go

              Re: " stop people flying the Union Flag upside down."

              Boom. Solved by El Reg comments section.

              1. Martin an gof Silver badge
                Happy

                Re: " stop people flying the Union Flag upside down."

                This is one of those things that crops up time after time after time after time.

                M.

            2. CrazyOldCatMan Silver badge

              Re: " stop people flying the Union Flag upside down."

              Even a numpty can tell whether that's upside-down or not!

              Unless it's pulling a loop-the-loop..

        4. Phil O'Sophical Silver badge
          Headmaster

          Re: foot, shot.

          Union Jack flutter properly in space

          Technically it's only a Union Jack if flown from the jackstaff (of a British spaceship, one assumes). Otherwise it's just the Union flag. As for fluttering in space, didn't NASA solve that one for Apollo 11, with springs?

          1. Fred Dibnah Silver badge
            Trollface

            Re: foot, shot.

            Of course not, they didn't go to the moon as any fule kno.

  8. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    "Brexit Satellite (BS) system"

    I see what you did there.....

    1. Noonoot

      Yes, the Bull Shit system, because that's what Brexit is - a load of it.

      Like with all the other things that still need negotiating, these mumbling elites had better get their skates on. They have until the end of the year. CHOP CHOP!!!!!!

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Not likely to hurt them too much when the shit hits the fan, so why would they care?

        The plebs of England gave them a five year carte blanche last month, so they've no need to listen to your exhortations. Know your place, peasant.

    2. NoKangaroosInAustria
      Coat

      Hmm... sounds like a load of ...

      The whole BS idea sounds like a load of BS to me.

      Sorry, I couldn't resist. I mean I came here just to say this.

      Mine is the one with the nose clips in the pocket.

      1. Excellentsword (Written by Reg staff)

        Re: Hmm... sounds like a load of ...

        thatsthejoke.aiff

    3. Len Silver badge
      Gimp

      Postoffice Imperial Satellite System

      I am more of a fan of the Postoffice Imperial Satellite System.

      It would have one furlong two dimensional accuracy and three rod elevation accuracy. Eat that with your fancy centimetres! Two dimensional location would be shown on the front, elevation on the back, because that doesn't make sense.

      It would be exclusively produced by Dyson (but manufactured in Asia) in a joint venture with Jeremy Hunt's cousin (completely coincidental) but he will ask a decent price, honest. Oh, and the noise of the receiver would make any conversation impossible but at least it would look really good, like a Star Wars prop.

      Don't forget to stock up on the proprietary batteries, available exclusively from your local Post Office upon showing your birth certificate.

      1. TimMaher Bronze badge
        Pint

        Re: Postoffice Imperial Satellite System

        Cmon @Len, have you spent too long in Wetherspoons?

        1. CrazyOldCatMan Silver badge

          Re: Postoffice Imperial Satellite System

          have you spent too long in Wetherspoons?

          As in about 30 seconds?

  9. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    "For lucky enough to have missed all the twists and turns in the previous season of Blighty's attempts to depart the European Union ..."

    That would be a dude who is living in a cave in the middle of the Amazon forest, then ... Not a paper in France without an article on it since 2016 !

    "ESA began shunting Brits from Galileo last year. A worker within the agency told The Register that pretty much all UK citizens were being shifted from EU-funded programmes such as Galileo and EGNOS (rather than just those working on classified elements) and another confirmed that Brits were indeed on the move."

    I'm sure those Brits won't vote Cameron any time soon. Fortunately, he did well to exit politics ...

  10. Wellyboot Silver badge
    Alien

    "Star Trek is better than Star Wars"

    Them's fightin words...

    But not a PoV that I'd argue against.

    1. MJI Silver badge

      Re: "Star Trek is better than Star Wars"

      Yes it is.

      Sorry I grew up with Star Trek and we had a first generation transistor colour TV in 73 or 74.

      Pretty sure my dad bought it for the opening of colour at our local TX

  11. amanfromMars 1 Silver badge

    There are always other options clearly available.

    Do those sorts of US style EU shenanigans raise the spectre of UKGBNI support/proprietary intellectual property transfer to a GLONASS and/or BeiDou Navigation Satellite System Executive?

    1. Wellyboot Silver badge
      Black Helicopters

      Re: There are always other options clearly available.

      Perhaps GCHQ has hacked them and 'we' now have free use of the accurate signal.

      We could always offer to help expand the Indian homebrew GPS

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: There are always other options clearly available.

      The current head of GLONASS development used to work in Galileo development at ESA, alongside the current head of ESA's Navigation division. He came to visit not so long ago.

  12. Velv Silver badge
    Mushroom

    Money

    OK, I know the NHS really needs that extra £350million a week it's getting, but maybe we could skim £50million a week off that and build our own Global Positioning System.

    A system for the Empire. Best system in the World.

    1. LDS Silver badge

      Re: Money

      You could call it the Empire Positioning System. Its clocks will send out time data set in the XIX century...

      1. Aladdin Sane Silver badge

        Re: Money

        JRM would be happy then.

      2. Korev Silver badge
        Pirate

        Re: Money

        You could call it the Empire Positioning System. Its clocks will send out time data set in the XIX century...

        Bring back the East India Company!

        1. LDS Silver badge

          Re: Money

          Of course, but this time the owners will be Indian and the HQ in Mumbay....

      3. HelpfulJohn Bronze badge

        Re: Money

        "Its clocks will send out time data set in the XIX century..."

        Did you really intend XIX or were you trying for XXI? [ XIX is 19 in real, true, S.I. numbers and XXI is 21 in that very sensible system.] [As, of course, everyone knows ;) ] (Parenthetically, I would suggest that for most politicians anything after XIVth Century is probably far too modern for them to cope with.)

        Either way, displaying the time in Roman Numerals would become strangely complex as one approaches the point of midnight.

        Or, actually, the first second of any minute and first minute of any hour. As a standard, Roman Numbers are slightly lacking.

  13. codejunky Silver badge

    Ha

    While the article seems to be the usual waaaa against the UK it would seem the reality still isnt bad.

    https://www.finhaven.club/article/brexit-negotiating-fta

    It would seem the UK has been working on the trade deal with the US ready to finalise before we leave in Dec and the EU may find London more interested in the US market.

    1. Jamie Jones Silver badge

      Re: Ha

      You're kidding, right?

      A US "deal" would be the final nail in our coffin.

      1. codejunky Silver badge

        Re: Ha

        @Jamie Jones

        "A US "deal" would be the final nail in our coffin."

        Why? Even worse as a thought why is a trade deal with the EU so damn good while one with the US bad? And what other nails in our coffin?

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Ha

          Even worse as a thought why is a trade deal with the EU so damn good while one with the US bad?

          Because to accept anything else would mean accepting that Brexit might not be so bad, and that's totally unacceptable to the remoaners.

      2. I ain't Spartacus Gold badge

        Re: Ha

        A US "deal" would be the final nail in our coffin.

        This is the kind of hyperbolic language that's made the whole Brexit debate so bloody annoying.

        There won't be any final nails in any coffins. The whole issue is about whether we'll be a few percentage points of GDP richer or poorer or if our voters have a little more or less democratic control of our laws. Either option has its good points and bad points - and of course now that Brexit has happened we're finally getting to the details of what the future relationship will be - something which we should have begun discussions on 3 years ago.

        Even if everything goes right we'll probably find there's no final agreement on whatever agreement gets made until sometime a few weeks after the transition period should have ended - that's assuming Johnson doesn't change his mind and go for the 1 year extension on offer, or even agree something longer. At which point we still won't have a final deal until a few days after that new deadline. That's how international negotiations tend to work. Diplomats just love the sound of deadlines whooshing past.

        But do we really believe there's going to be some complex new free trade deal with the US anytime soon? And any minor deal will have minor effects. Trump changes his mind on what he wants between lunch and his final tweets (after he's watched Fox for a bit on his bedside telly). What are the chances of him agreeing something complex? A quick and easy deal to get some cheap PR now? That's more like it...

        There'll likely be no Brexit triumph or disaster. Just life moving on. And as with all economics - you can never bloody prove what works and what doesn't - because you can never test anything properly. So for example since voting to leave the EU we've been confidently told that GDP is now 2-3% less than it otherwise would have been. But those figures include the higher growth in Canada and the US - and ignore the fact that our economy has grown faster than France and Italy's since the Brexit vote - and about equal to Germany's.

        Investment in our economy has fallen since the vote, and that must have had an effect on growth, along with uncertainty as to the final deal(s) - but I suspect that those looking for a disaster will be disappointed. As with all the predictions about voting to leave causing an immediate recession - often from the same organisations who said not joining the Euro would be an economic disaster.

        As the saying goes, "Economists have predicted 12 of the last 3 recessions."

        1. sed gawk Silver badge

          Re: Ha

          Here are the US objectives for our "deal".

          https://ustr.gov/sites/default/files/Summary_of_U.S.-UK_Negotiating_Objectives.pdf

          Sanitary and Phytosanitary Measures (SPS): Page 5

          "Establish a mechanism to remove expeditiously unwarranted barriers that block the export of U.S. food and agricultural products in order to obtain more open, equitable, and reciprocal market access."

          Once you mix US food in our food supply, we can no longer export to our biggest market, and we lack the scale to compete with the producers in the US.

          A trade "deal" with the US will not be in our favour, please accept that, regardless of your vote in 2016.

          1. codejunky Silver badge

            Re: Ha

            @sed gawk

            "Once you mix US food in our food supply, we can no longer export to our biggest market, and we lack the scale to compete with the producers in the US."

            Why? Exports must meet the standards of the importing country, that is the norm for all trade. Just because we have access to the world where we can buy what we want doesnt mean those with stricter rules cant buy our stuff. Unless the EU really want to isolate themselves but thats a good argument to make such deals.

            "A trade "deal" with the US will not be in our favour, please accept that, regardless of your vote in 2016."

            Why wont it and no I wont just accept it because you say so. Trade is not a zero sum game.

            1. nematoad Silver badge
              FAIL

              Re: Ha

              "Unless the EU really want to isolate themselves..."

              That's a good one. Puts me in mind of a possibly apocryphal news headline "Fog in Channel, continent cut off."

              27 countries, 450 million people and trade agreements with many other blocs and countries and you say that they are isolating themselves?

              If they are, what the hell is the UK doing?

              1. codejunky Silver badge

                Re: Ha

                @nematoad

                "That's a good one"

                But that is what he suggested. The EU standards being so high and willing to cut off the outside world that refuses to meet them domestically.

                "27 countries, 450 million people and trade agreements with many other blocs and countries and you say that they are isolating themselves?"

                No I didnt. I said unless the EU want to isolate themselves.

                "If they are, what the hell is the UK doing?"

                Exiting a protectionist block.

                1. Intractable Potsherd Silver badge

                  Re: Ha

                  "Exiting a protectionist block."

                  You say that as if it is a good thing. Protectionism upholds standards. Screw the free market.

                  1. codejunky Silver badge

                    Re: Ha

                    @Intractable Potsherd

                    "You say that as if it is a good thing. Protectionism upholds standards. Screw the free market."

                    I am pro-free market. I didnt know our orange growing industry needed protection. While upholding some standards makes sense, it can also be used to abuse the customer.

                  2. EvilDrSmith Bronze badge

                    Re: Ha

                    Actually, protectionism is designed to do what it's name suggest: protect industries (and workers' jobs in those industries).

                    Protectionism does not uphold standards, though the claim that imports do not meet standards appears to be a fairly common method of implementing protectionism.

                    If you want to uphold standards, you set standards which must be met. You can do this with no protectionist elements (i.e., zero tariffs, and no quota limits).

            2. defiler Silver badge

              Re: Ha

              Why? Exports must meet the standards of the importing country, that is the norm for all trade.

              Yeah, that's slight hyperbole. If we permit food from the USA into the UK on the US terms and succumb to their standards then we won't be able to automatically export to Europe. Each step of the production chain will be subject to rigorous auditing and certification processes. For example, if you want to send meat to the continent then you'd have to have a vet regularly inspect the farm where the animals were raised to check for conditions and verify that there were no antibiotics in the food. You'd have to have another vet establish that the animals were not administered hormones or antibiotics during the 7(?) days before slaughter. And then you'd have to have a vet present at the slaughter to ensure it happened using approved methods in a standards-compliant environment. At the moment the inspections are there, but less common because it's generally assumed that companies / farmers will comply with the established law of the land.

              So yes, we could still export to the EU, but it would be significantly more involved and more costly than if we retained the EU food standards, and that would mean telling the USA to jog on.

              We're in a bit of a bind, with levels of nuance that only experts in each field understand. The same experts that Gove instructed us all to disregard. Still, the other shoe will drop at the end of the year...

              I hope it all works out, for me and for my family and friends. I work hard and will continue to work hard. If this is going to fail, or cost us, it won't be because of me - that's all on the Brexiters. I hope they own it.

              1. codejunky Silver badge

                Re: Ha

                @defiler

                "Yeah, that's slight hyperbole. If we permit food from the USA into the UK on the US terms and succumb to their standards then we won't be able to automatically export to Europe"

                That is a very different thing than we were discussing. In fact that is another way of saying our exports to the EU would need to meet EU standards even if domestically we choose not to.

                "So yes, we could still export to the EU, but it would be significantly more involved and more costly than if we retained the EU food standards"

                But why would we? Bendy bananas a criminal offence? Protectionism over foods which overall increases the price of food. If the EU doesnt want what we provide thats up to them, but why should we pay EU protectionist prices when food is not that expensive?

                "We're in a bit of a bind, with levels of nuance that only experts in each field understand. The same experts that Gove instructed us all to disregard."

                The experts he disregarded were the twits who cried doom and caught not just lying but with a full blaze in the pants area. I am not particularly for sticking up for Gove but applying his words out of context is not fair.

                "I hope it all works out, for me and for my family and friends. I work hard and will continue to work hard. If this is going to fail, or cost us, it won't be because of me - that's all on the Brexiters. I hope they own it."

                Ok. And if its a success will the cost of being in the EU be acknowledged?

                1. defiler Silver badge

                  Re: Ha

                  That is a very different thing than we were discussing. In fact that is another way of saying our exports to the EU would need to meet EU standards even if domestically we choose not to.

                  Absolutely. That's what I'm saying. But the paperwork and chain of certification will be significantly more contrived than it is just now, because we'd have to prove that everything going to the EU (food, cars, hats, whatever) meets their regulations. It won't be taken as a given on the basis that they're our standards as well. And the EU need to make sure that we don't just import US <things> and put them straight into the EU market because of the lowered standards.

                  But why would we? Bendy bananas a criminal offence? Protectionism over foods which overall increases the price of food. If the EU doesnt want what we provide thats up to them, but why should we pay EU protectionist prices when food is not that expensive?

                  Bendy bananas were never a thing. Anyway, if you're happy with the deliberate lowering of food standards in Britain, that's your business. I'm not happy about that. For example, there are about 1.2 million cases of salmonella annually in the USA. In the EU, 91000. Why would I ever choose to lower my food standards to that? Why would I choose to feed my kids that instead of the EU-standard food? "Hey, kids - eat your chicken. It probably won't be fatal..." I'd be happy to pay the extra, thanks!

                  The experts he disregarded were the twits who cried doom and caught not just lying but with a full blaze in the pants area. I am not particularly for sticking up for Gove but applying his words out of context is not fair.

                  Hmm yeah. I saw that happen on live TV and burst out laughing in the gym, wondering how anybody would fall for that. He wasn't singling out any experts in particular, in my recollection. He just undermined all science and reason and gave the country justification to use what they "felt", and what was "common sense" to decide the future course of the nation instead of "what actually happens in real life and can be proven". Anyway, let's move on from him - he just makes me angry.

                  Ok. And if its a success will the cost of being in the EU be acknowledged?

                  Sure - I'd be happy to. Of course, I think the odds are stronger that Boris Johnson will be the last Prime Minister of the United Kingdom, but there you go.

                  Here's the thing. I've asked many people to tell me what the EU has done badly and how we'll be better off out of it, and nobody's objections have actually stood up to analysis. I've come down to three things by myself, but nobody else has managed to put anything in the pot:

                  1) The Brussels/Strasbourg nomadic shit just annoys me. Take a Euro coin and flip it.

                  2) The handling of Greece was pretty shoddy. They were desperate to get Greece in, and pulled an HP/Autonomy, not actually looking closely enough to see the cracks. Then when Greece arrived and said "we're broke!", they were harshly punitive.

                  3) The clean accounts vs the grey accounts - that's a bit shady, I don't really understand why it's done, but it seems to be a tiny fraction of the EU accounts that aren't on the "clean" sheet.

                  Care to add?

                  1. codejunky Silver badge

                    Re: Ha

                    @defiler

                    "Bendy bananas were never a thing."

                    I like this one because it is real and a thing. It might be a low impact thing but it shows the control freak approach. Another example of control freaking has caused a white van man to be fined for not littering. These are real and factual which is why I like to bring them up. They are so stupid you would hope it wasnt real.

                    "Anyway, if you're happy with the deliberate lowering of food standards in Britain, that's your business"

                    I am and why not? We are talking about food which is safe to eat and considered acceptable in the developed world. We can always add higher and higher standards until the food supply is nothing but who does that help?

                    "For example, there are about 1.2 million cases of salmonella annually in the USA"

                    What does that prove? If your going to try to claim it shows unsafe chicken then you better have better than that. That is worth about as much as pointing out the US has less cases of campylobacter than we do. Neither however proving one safer than the other over the processing of chicken.

                    "He wasn't singling out any experts in particular, in my recollection."

                    Ok thats your recollection. Refresh your memory below and enjoy the article below it.

                    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sz1_LHtfuCI

                    https://www.spectator.co.uk/2017/01/michael-gove-was-accidentally-right-about-experts/

                    "Anyway, let's move on from him - he just makes me angry."

                    I get that. As I said I am no fan of the guy but he does get slammed for the experts comment unfairly.

                    "Care to add?"

                    Good list.

                    4) The control freaking I have mentioned at the start of this comment.

                    5) The EU proper (Eurozone) is dire due to serious mismanagement of a bad political currency.

                    6) 'More Europe' meaning more EU, ever closer union. The continued desire to take more sovereignty and effectively become a united states (hence the concerns of EUSSR/US of E depending who determines the direction).

                    6) Their opposition to elected governments of their members.

                    7) High levels of protectionism.

                    8) The rules apply on a whim. Weaker members kicked, stronger members allowed to break rules.

                    9) Untrustworthy. Signed a guarantee not to use the UK contribution to bail out Greece, then did it anyway.

                    My largest fear being that we dont like the EU project, we have opt outs and dont want to federalise with them. Yet it takes little effort for some sick and twisted idiot in government to sell us out as Blair demonstrated. Some remainers are crying for a referendum to overturn the last decision and yet after multiple promises it has taken a number of government elections to finally have a say on our membership and a tooth and nail fight to implement it.

            3. sed gawk Silver badge

              Re: Why a trade deal with the US won't be in our favour..

              We are much smaller, with industries unable to compete in the levels of scale, afforded by the American landscape, and as such we have higher costs to produce the same agricultural products, e.g. beef.

              As other have explained the additional checks on produce, is likely to damage our local food production industry due to the flood of cheaper imports, requiring more stringent inspections, again raising our costs compared to the existing regime.

              Higher costs, increased competition are unlikely to be helpful.

              Finally given the well publicised American objection to country of origin labelling, our processed food exports will be assumed to contain non-eu sourced meats, unless we are able to prove otherwise.

              Finally, I agree with your suggestion that my opinion is not relevant to the merits or otherwise of a trade deal. However, I hope that considering the relative sizes, and markets, may sway you one way or another.

              1. codejunky Silver badge

                Re: Why a trade deal with the US won't be in our favour..

                @sed gawk

                "We are much smaller, with industries unable to compete in the levels of scale, afforded by the American landscape, and as such we have higher costs to produce the same agricultural products, e.g. beef."

                Ok. So cheaper food.

                "As other have explained the additional checks on produce, is likely to damage our local food production industry due to the flood of cheaper imports"

                Aka we wont be forced to buy expensive stuff but instead have choice. And people will freely be able to choose, for themselves. Not dictated to buy the most expensive.

                "Higher costs, increased competition are unlikely to be helpful."

                Why? Increased competition lowers prices and reduces costs.

                "Finally given the well publicised American objection to country of origin labelling, our processed food exports will be assumed to contain non-eu sourced meats, unless we are able to prove otherwise."

                Why would we restrict ourselves to EU sourced meats. FFS one of the huge advantages of leaving is not being restricted to their protectionism. A non-meat example- we are protectionist against oranges because Spain wants to protect itself against South Africa. We leave and we have no reason to protect our orange growing industry (do we even have one?).

                A trade deal either way means we need to agree standards for what we will accept and what they will accept. Doesnt matter who that deal is with. Our domestic standards are ours and should be for us.

                1. Intractable Potsherd Silver badge

                  Re: Why a trade deal with the US won't be in our favour..

                  @codejunky: "Ok. So cheaper food."

                  Food has never been cheaper in the UK as percentage of earnings. There is no need to make it cheaper, especially at the cost of high standards. It sounds as if you are arguing that poor people can be sacrificed upon the altar of globalism.

                  With regard to rules being applied arbitrarily - you have no need to tell us here in Scotland, or Northern Ireland, about that only it has always been Westminster doing it. The EU has always looked after Scotland and Northern Ireland, and yet you still wonder why we want to kick the anonymous civil servants in London out in favour of the time-limited and transparently selected European Commission.

                  Bendy bananas and White-van littering are irrelevant to any argument - give me 30 lines and I'll come up with at least five equivalents that the muppets in Westminster have come up with.

                  There is still nothing that I can see that justifies coming out of the EU.

                  1. codejunky Silver badge

                    Re: Why a trade deal with the US won't be in our favour..

                    @Intractable Potsherd

                    "Food has never been cheaper in the UK as percentage of earnings. There is no need to make it cheaper, especially at the cost of high standards. It sounds as if you are arguing that poor people can be sacrificed upon the altar of globalism."

                    It kinda depends on your view of how poor some people are but by banning safe food because its cheaper sounds like your trying to starve them as sacrifice for your high standards. Are those high standards actual protection standards or protectionist standards? Are they to protect the consumer or the business?

                    "With regard to rules being applied arbitrarily - you have no need to tell us here in Scotland, or Northern Ireland, about that only it has always been Westminster doing it"

                    I am sensing sour grapes here but Scotland voted to remain in the UK. Its proposal to leave being to keep the BBC, GBP, etc and everything except any obligation to fund its independence.

                    "The EU has always looked after Scotland and Northern Ireland"

                    Oh thank god can we stop sending you money then? Let the EU bail you out.

                    "Bendy bananas and White-van littering are irrelevant to any argument - give me 30 lines and I'll come up with at least five equivalents that the muppets in Westminster have come up with."

                    Actually that makes it more relevant. If the muppets here can make crap laws then why add another bunch of muppets on top to make even more?

            4. Anonymous Coward
              Anonymous Coward

              Re: Ha

              There are two major issues with US Food which has led to a EU ban (which included the UK).

              US Milk is produced with cows that have Bovine Growth Hormone to increase the milk production. One of the controversies over it's usage is that it causes a higher incidence of mastitis (a form of breast infection) which leads to pus being a part of the milk.

              Chlorinated Chicken - the EU has refused to permit the import of chicken treated in this way, claiming that it compensates for poor hygiene behaviour elsewhere in the supply chain and disincentivises the poultry industry to put in place proper hygiene practices.

              Personally, I've been trying to boycott all US food as the FDA isn't there to protect the consumer, it's to protect the companies.

              1. codejunky Silver badge

                Re: Ha

                @AC

                "Personally, I've been trying to boycott all US food as the FDA isn't there to protect the consumer, it's to protect the companies."

                Of your entire comment that is the important statement. Good for you. The freedom to choose for yourself. Some people will be happy buying that stuff while others wont. Neither should be forced.

            5. CrazyOldCatMan Silver badge

              Re: Ha

              Why wont it and no I wont just accept it because you say so

              Because it will be a 'trade' deal where the US holds all the cards and we hold none. Unlike our previous life in the EU where we at least had a say in the rules and regulations involved - a trade deal with the US will be presented as a "this is what we want and you have no negotiating power" deal.

              Especially if Trump wins re-election.

              1. codejunky Silver badge

                Re: Ha

                @CrazyOldCatMan

                "Because it will be a 'trade' deal where the US holds all the cards and we hold none."

                That has to be a lie because trade requires us to want something and them to want something.

                "Unlike our previous life in the EU where we at least had a say in the rules and regulations involved"

                Did we? It was obviously so great that we felt we needed to leave before even 'more Europe' (meaning EU not Europe).

                "a trade deal with the US will be presented as a "this is what we want and you have no negotiating power" deal."

                Then the answer would be no. Pretty simple really.

          2. Cederic Silver badge

            Re: Ha

            I'd like to negotiate a trade agreement with you. I'd like to remove expeditiously unwarranted barriers that block my access to your bank account and the funds within it.

            Sign here forthwith.

            What? You'd like to negotiate? You're not going to sign that deal? It's almost as though both parties have to agree to terms, and the objectives of one side merely lead to a discussion.

            Why would you assume any differently when it comes to the US objectives from their trade negotiations? Or the EU's objectives. Or indeed, the British objectives.

            1. sed gawk Silver badge

              Re: Ha

              So both the EU and the US are sufficient large markets, that we need them more than they need us.

              The US is salivating at the once in a generation chance to beggar us, and sadly they've got a good chance.

              The drugs market, country of origin labelling, food hygiene standards with the EU are known. We are compliant already, especially as we drafted a lot of the rules.

              The US in contrast has much weaker rules, and correspondingly requires us to lower our standards.

              That's unfortunately the case when we are a supplicant in the negotiations.

          3. I ain't Spartacus Gold badge

            Re: Ha

            sed gawk,

            Firstly the USA itself exports food into the EU now. How can that be possible if its supply is contaminated? Obviously the downside of allowing rules for our internal market to differ from Single Market rules are that our exporters may be forced to do more paperwork, in order to prove their supply chains comply - and this would make exporting more expensive. Although one of the big upsides of leaving the EU is the opportunity to allow food into our market at much lower prices - as we're no longer required to protect the interests of the french and other EU farming lobbies with high tarrifs. The downside of that is the damage to our own farming industry - so as with everything it's a trade-off. But the ability to offer our internal food market is also a lure for trade negotiations, including with the EU themselves - and the upside is cheaper food. We don't have to take chlorinated chicken if we don't want to, though equally I'm not convinced it's that much of a horror, given that the same process is already used in the EU for salads, and I believe soon to be allowed for chicken? But we can always insist that it be labelled, and then consumers can make their own choice.

            The point is though that this becomes a choice we get to make as voters. Economically, the best thing to do is probably totally free trade - take the advantages of cheaper imports and let the competition strengthen our own companies. The more efficient your companies, the richer the country. But politically that's an impossible sell - and the short-term pain would be high. So even if it's the best long-term policy, as Keynes said, "in the long term we're all dead."

            So yes the US will be seeking lots of things from any trade deal. If you don't ask - you don't get. They'll ask and if we don't give all they want, they'll not give us some stuff we want. This is normal in trade deals, and is why they take so long to negotiate, as different political/economic interests play off against each other.

            But Rome wasn't built in a day, and constructing a brand new trade policy will take years. As a first step, constructing a few easy but shallow trade deals might be a good idea. Doing anything deep and complex is bound to take longer.

            I guess the problem here is the "all or nothing" pisspoor quality of so much of the Brexit debate. If you only read the Guardian, it's an absolute outrage if the government doesn't accept every demand made by the European Commission negotiating team - and any demands our government make in return are unreasonable red lines caused by Brexiteer idiots trying to "have their cake and eat it". Meanwhile ignoring that the EU are trying exactly the same thing, because who doesn't want to get concessions from the other side in a negotiation at zero cost?

            One of the things that happens in any negotiation is that you find out what the other side's real "red lines" are as you go, and where they're prepared to be flexible. As the EU discovered, where even when May capitulated to the withdrawal agreement, because she thought a no deal exit would be a disaster, she was still unable to get it through Parliament. But after negotiation Johnson removed a bunch of the more unacceptable bits, and hey presto! An agreement! Even though it contained elements the EU had told May were literally impossible.

            Now the currrent EU policy is to say that we must submit to EU law, as interpreted by EU courts, in perpetuity. That's simply ludicrous and more than they demand of Canada - who they recently signed a similar agreement with. Is that really what they expect? Or is it what they want? In my opinion is so extreme as to poison the negotiations, and in fact it has. We're likely to end up signing a much shallower agreement (if we even get one) because of it. Johnson has deliberately decided to go for the minimum trade deal, he thinks actually possible to agree. Despite the fact that industry on both sides would like something a lot closer.

            By being so hostile the EU have destroyed the political chances of the very people in the UK who would be most sympathetic to what they want. Clearly the obvious compromise after a narrow vote to leave was either continuing membership of the Single Market or something a bit looser than that which allowed the UK some control of immigration policy. Sadly too many people on the remain side gambled everything on reversing the referndum result, rather than settling on a compromise position that most people could live with. While the EU hollowed out the centre ground even further by making continuous shrill demands for everything on their terms - thus undermining any chance for the very compromises they wanted us to make.

            1. Robert Sneddon

              Re: Ha

              Firstly the USA itself exports food into the EU now. How can that be possible if its supply is contaminated?

              Any food imported into the EU has to meet strict EU hygiene and quality regs and that includes US produce. After that the food can be shipped anywhere in the EU and Britain can accept any EU-sourced food without worries because of commonly-agreed EU standards (we already import a massive amount of non-EU foodstuffs frictionlessly via ports like Rotterdam since all of the checks and paperwork to ensure they are safe is carried out there, not at our own borders).

              The proposed US trade agreement says they want Brexit Britain to "reduce" i.e. gut its standards so the US can ship us a lot of products that don't currently meet EU standards, stuff like chlorine-washed chicken[1]. At that point all foodstuffs from the UK being exported to the EU will have to be inspected and documented since some of it might be US-sourced. Of course since we're going to be diverging from EU standards in the future -- rule-makers not rule-takers -- then even if we don't accept salmonella-ridden poultry from the US any British producer exporting food to the EU is still going to face a lot of paperwork and testing and paying for the privilege.

              [1] Chlorine-washing is meant to control the levels of harmful bacteria in slaughtered poultry. The US suffers about 15 times the level of salmonella cases that the EU does per million population because they don't treat salmonella the way sensible people do, as a major health problem requiring testing, notification and destruction of poultry flocks to contain outbreaks. Instead they treat affected flocks with antibiotics and send the finished carcasses to the consumer after washing them with chlorinated water.

            2. sed gawk Silver badge

              Re: Ha

              Firstly the US food supply is not contaminated as such.

              We (UK & EU) have rules that suggest animals should be kept in cleaner conditions than the US.

              A US Food and Drug Administration handbook shows that US food standards allow for:

              Rat hairs in paprika

              Rat droppings in ginger

              Insect fragments in peanut butter

              Maggots in orange juice.

              The US suggests that these are unlikely to be harmful to human health provided the levels are fairly low.

              We (UK & EU) suggest that we'd rather not have them present, and err on the side of caution.

              We have control of immigration policy, it's tragic that even now this is being raised as a justification for loosing the right of free movement.

              The food imported from the US into the EU meets EU standards, the goal of the deal is that food & other products not currently compliant with UK influenced EU standards should be made available to the UK market.

              1. I ain't Spartacus Gold badge

                Re: Ha

                Everyone's food standards allow for rat hairs and insects in food. It's literally impossible to remove them all. There are almost no food standards that say "this food must be totally free from" - you have a minimum amount that is regarded as safe that's allowable in testing. Though hopefully there'll be a lot less than that actually present.

                Food processing isn't fucking magic!

                That's why people who have serious peanut allergies buy their chocolate from companies that produce it in a a building that doesn't ever contain peanuts - because just washing the production lines doesn't remove all traces.

                And why even bleach companies only claim to kill 99% of bacteria. Because, again, all foods have minium levels of bacteria, because eliminating it all is practically impossible.

                Whether UK or EU law is stricter than US law is one matter - but there will be minimum limits for everything written down somewhere.

              2. maffski

                Re: Ha

                'A US Food and Drug Administration handbook shows that US food standards allow for:

                Rat hairs in paprika

                Rat droppings in ginger

                Insect fragments in peanut butter

                Maggots in orange juice.

                The US suggests that these are unlikely to be harmful to human health provided the levels are fairly low.

                We (UK & EU) suggest that we'd rather not have them present, and err on the side of caution.'

                This is not true. These are levels at which the US inspectors are legally required to prosecute - at levels below this they can caution or prosecute as they think appropriate. In the EU inspectors are never required to prosecute and can caution at any level of contamination.

                Full fact

              3. EvilDrSmith Bronze badge

                Re: Ha

                As I understand it, the US says that contaminants* must be minimised, and there is an absolute limit which may not be exceeded (exceed this, you get prosecuted).

                The EU says that contaminants must be minimised, but if you have done all that (the inspector agrees) is reasonably practical, there is no upper limit on the volume of contaminants in a product.

                Both require that food is fit for human consumption.

                So you are saying you object to the US standard that allows a maximum number of rat hairs in your food (as long as it is safe to eat), while preferring the EU standard that allows an unlimited number of rat hairs in your food (as long as it is safe to eat).

                *Contaminants are apparently defined as anything that should not be in the product - so apple juice or water are contaminants in orange juice, for example.

  14. stiine Silver badge
    WTF?

    a £92m effort

    They've spent £92m in two years to study what? I'm in the wrong damn business...or government is.

    1. Jimmy2Cows Silver badge

      Re: a £92m effort

      Well it's only taxpayer's money right? So efficiency and value for money is never a concern.

  15. maffski

    Impressive, managing to preemptively contradict yourself

    The article says...

    '...Galileo was one of those moments of awakening when UK lawmakers realised that if you leave a club, you also lose access to its toys....'

    ...and yet earlier...

    '...it appears the UK will have access to the Public Regulated Service (PRS) of Galileo required by the military...'

    1. amanfromMars 1 Silver badge

      Re: Impressive, managing to preemptively contradict yourself

      '...it appears the UK will have access to the Public Regulated Service (PRS) of Galileo required by the military...'

      How very wise, to not unnecessarily antagonise with satellite disarmament, all manner of crazily armed and elite special forces.

      Surely that is Just and Simply Plain Common Sense ‽ .

  16. Claverhouse Silver badge
    Happy

    La Débâcle

    Almost insanely obvious that the most urgent priority to counter the Brexit mess is for us to re-apply to join the European Union as fast as possible, and I have emailed the Prime Minister's Office to indicate this and ask what contingency plans they have in train to get us back in.

    https://email.number10.gov.uk/

    1. codejunky Silver badge

      Re: La Débâcle

      @Claverhouse

      "Almost insanely obvious that the most urgent priority to counter the Brexit mess is for us to re-apply to join the European Union as fast as possible"

      That would require a party for rejoining to get elected. However as the parties for remain failed to secure a majority and that is with the opt outs it would be hard to sell rejoining.

  17. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    And then there is the question of national ego

    arguably, brexit has never been about anything else...

    UK:

    "Rule, Britannia! rule the waves, Britons never will be slaves!"

    EU:

    (shrug)

    1. Mike Moyle Silver badge
      Joke

      Re: And then there is the question of national ego

      EU:

      (elaborate Gallic shrug)

      FTFY

  18. Siliconbitz

    If the Galileo system was engineered to mitigate the risks posed by losing access to GPS or GLONASS.

    And, the UK has lost unfettered access to Galileo then it follows the U.K should be rolling its own.

    Whether it can or not, should not be dependent on the intransigence this article worryingly exposes.

    1. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge

      Galileo was built to insure against the USA cutting off GPS over Europe in a future trade dispute / a French vanity project / a illegal government support of EU aerospace (delete as appropriate)

      It is unlikely that the eu and USA and Russia will all cut off access to the UK. Galileo can't it doesn't have the finesse to allow a French container ship in the channel but block a British one.

      The reason the brits want access to the secure signal is to do another Falklands without asking USA permission. Once it becomes Puerto Rico on thames this isn't an issue

  19. Andy 73

    Wow, strong filter there...

    A whole article about what the author believes in. Disappointing, but I guess it plays to the peanut gallery.

  20. Thoguht Silver badge

    Galileo is the BS system

    That's because a) the Chinese can take it down any time they feel like by filing a complaint to the ITU because it's effectively squatting on frequencies technically reserved to their BeiDou GNSS system, and b) the Americans have stated that they will take it down by force if necessary if it ever contravenes their essential security interests.

    1. H in The Hague Silver badge

      Re: Galileo is the BS system

      "... the Americans have stated that they will take it down by force if necessary if it ever contravenes their essential security interests."

      Hmm, nice allies you have there. These are the guys the UK is supposed to get closer to? Guess that's one way of taking back control.

      1. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge

        Re: Galileo is the BS system

        Actually Galileo agreed to a US kill switch so it could operate on frequencies close enough to GPS that the USA couldn't easily block it.

        The alternative was that they would shoot it down

  21. Pete 2

    The low-tech "green" solution

    > Should the UK find something better on which to spend the BS billions, and make use of the Galileo PRS instead

    So instead of shooting dozens of satellites into space (presumably not on Ariane vehicles). wouldn't a better system than another GPS be a comprehensive network of road signs?

    1. martinusher Silver badge

      Re: The low-tech "green" solution

      Then there's the OS maps -- GPS systems are handy but I have yet to find a country that's mapped as consistently and accurately as the UK.

      (PS -- I am a bit out of touch with the 'new, improved, privatized' OS organization so I don't know whether maps are kept as up to date as they used to be.)

      1. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge

        Re: The low-tech "green" solution

        I would have said because the British army isn't normally bombing places covered by OS maps, but given current politics just give it a few years

        1. EvilDrSmith Bronze badge
          Headmaster

          Re: The low-tech "green" solution

          Well, the Board of Ordnance instructed the first mapping undertaken by the Ordnance Survey to be of the south coast, to provide maps for the army to protect against invasion from France (Revolutionary and Napoleonic War period), so the original purpose was precisely that the British army could bomb (well fire shot and shell) places covered by the OS.

  22. Cynic_999 Silver badge

    Easy solution

    Looking by all technical projects undertaken by our government in the past, a UK made GPS system is likely to be 1000% over-budget, be decades late, and not work properly. The best solution would therefore be to use a 3rd party contractor. I would suggest China ...

  23. WillCunningham

    I've just been informed by a dark corner of YouTube not to worry because "Satellites aren't real".

    Checkmate, EU.

  24. Mike 137 Silver badge

    BS indeed

    There doesn't seem to be any single aspect of departure from the EU that hasn't been subject to BS (in the fully bovine sense). We've been misinfomed, had promises made and broken and been told several times that monumental change will be achieved in the blink of an eye (and it hasn't every time). Now we're facing the music for real, and the tune may not be quite what we expected.

  25. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    ESA's head of Navigation, Paul Verhoef, is a potential candidate to replace ESA's Director General, Jan Woermer - who has announced that he will not seek a renewal of his contract in 2021. As if by coincidence, 2021 is also the date when the EC's GSA (the EU body handling Galileo and EGNOS) will be transformed into the "EU Agency for the Space Programme". It seems likely that the EU-leaning Verhoef would like to see ESA "borged" into the EUSPA - or at least, ESA"s NAV division.

  26. Morat

    We're still talking about Brexit like it's an issue? Time to move on.

  27. briesmith

    Hopes Dashed

    I'd sort of hoped we would build our own duplex system so location data could be sent back via the satellite as well as being received from it. I wanted to believe we could put an end to aircraft, and ships (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/MV_Derbyshire), disappearing without trace. But never mind, at least we've got control back, haven't we.

    1. H in The Hague Silver badge

      Re: Hopes Dashed

      "... duplex system so location data could be sent back via the satellite as well as being received from it."

      No need to invent that, for emergencies, that function is provided by Galileo:

      "As a further feature, Galileo is providing a global Search and Rescue (SAR) function, based on the operational Cospas-Sarsat system. Satellites are therefore equipped with a transponder, which is able to transfer the distress signals from the user transmitters to regional rescue co-ordination centres, which will then initiate the rescue operation.

      At the same time, the system will send a response signal to the user, informing him that his situation has been detected and that help is on the way. This latter feature is new and is considered a major upgrade compared to the existing system, which does not provide user feedback."

      Source: https://www.esa.int/Applications/Navigation/Galileo/What_is_Galileo

      Ships and aircraft can also use conventional satellite communications to transmit their position and operational data, to base - if the operator is prepared to pay for that.

  28. Roger Mew

    Surely if you get a divorce then you have to leave the shared toys that are owned originally by the other behind, certainly if they had a car then you would not then be a co-owner of the car. The UK HAS to realise that you cannot have your cakey AND eat it. Boris is making enough money out of brexit for himself and Reece=Mogg he cannot now say that he wants also to have all. No, it does not work like that. I am afraid those of us that have decided to be European to protect our families and allow them to continue as such, (Je suis Francais) do not really want a bankrupt britain that cannot actually join the WTO because of its debt, and keeps whingeing on about what others are doing. Please, now that you are starting to realise that its cold outside, do not ask us to now open the door. We here in the EU acknowledge that it has problems, be we French, German and English that know better, or what have you, also acknowledge that altering a club is done on the inside, not on the outside throwing soggy rocks. We HAVE tried to help you but not only have you ostracised many of your own people with not having the vote, you have actually kowtowed to the poor IQ of those that know no better allowing those like Johnson, and Reece Mogg make a killing at the expense of your own poor and industry. You have destroyed your own source of medical staff and your own export potential, and now are complaining because that scenario was obvious. Really! I am wondering what you are going to complain about next, lack of fuel probably and having to reopen coal mines!

    1. codejunky Silver badge

      @Roger Mew

      "Surely if you get a divorce then you have to leave the shared toys that are owned originally by the other behind, certainly if they had a car then you would not then be a co-owner of the car"

      While nothing like a divorce the EU hasnt existed before the UK and the EU's development has been funded from the UK too which makes them all shared assets. As the EU wants to apportion liabilities then assets must also be counted.

      "The UK HAS to realise that you cannot have your cakey AND eat it."

      True some people think that way. So do the EU. They want to insist that we are bound by their rules and restrictions even when we leave because they fear we will have a competitive advantage (their acknowledgement of being free of their rules). The EU want access to the European global financial centre and in return want us to offer them something (yup they want us to give them something in trade for us giving them something).

      "I am afraid those of us that have decided to be European"

      Your from outside of Europe originally? Cool, where abouts?

      "do not really want a bankrupt britain that cannot actually join the WTO because of its debt"

      Erm, this is a new one.

      "Please, now that you are starting to realise that its cold outside, do not ask us to now open the door."

      Thats harsh. The UK has had our door open for some time for a lot of the world. Are you thinking its a good idea to be selective? Maybe like having a border? You might find similar thoughts here in the UK too!

      "also acknowledge that altering a club is done on the inside"

      Best of luck with that. I hear thats the platform Macron barely beat out La Pen on. We tried but in the end the club wasnt for us.

      "We HAVE tried to help you but not only have you ostracised many of your own people with not having the vote, you have actually kowtowed to the poor IQ of those that know no better allowing those like Johnson, and Reece Mogg make a killing at the expense of your own poor and industry"

      We appreciate your concern at our intellect and look forward to the EU/Eurozone problems being resolved before the project collapses in on itself. Hopefully the project wont need to sacrifice the economies of its members again. Also thanks for your 'help' but we did have a vote (result leave) and then various votes where we continued to vote against the EU. The good news is costs should fall for our poor and for our industries too. If you guys try it you might reduce unemployment.

      "You have destroyed your own source of medical staff and your own export potential"

      We employ a lot of our medical staff from outside the EU. And if the EU doesnt want our exports then why did they buy them in the first place? But dont worry your pretty little head about it, it isnt your concern anyway.

      "now are complaining because that scenario was obvious. Really! I am wondering what you are going to complain about next, lack of fuel probably and having to reopen coal mines!"

      Complaining? About what? We were complaining we were still stuck in the club long after voting to leave and overrunning deadlines. I guess we probably will complain if we dont leave by the end of the year.

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