back to article Surprise! Plans for a Brexit version of the EU's Galileo have been delayed

Hopes of an on-time delivery of a report into how the UK's Galileo replacement might work have been dealt a blow as, yup, it's running late. According to the Financial Times, the wholly unsurprising news is that squabbles over cost and scope have led to a delay of at least six months in the publication of the plan. Back in …

  1. John H Woods Silver badge

    // Brexit Positioning System

    String getLocation(){

    return("You are outside the EU")

    }

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Risky posting that without AC.

      I can't help feeling that a Crapita/CrapGemini/etc is going to steal your code, charge the UK hundreds of millions of pounds and be caught out when crossing the Northern Ireland/Ireland border and finger you...

      1. robidy Silver badge

        HS2 is looking um, a bigger white elephant.

        That budget would buy OpenReach and cable every phone line with fibre in a short space of time....and have change left over for the Blond gobshit to waste.

        1. TVU Silver badge

          "HS2 is looking um, a bigger white elephant"

          Both HS2 and a UK Brexit Galileo are just enormous and pointless huge wastes of taxpayers' money which could be spent on better things.

          Instead of HS2, what's needed is more electrification and more First Great Western new super fast Intercity Express Trains at a fraction of the cost. As for the global positioning issue, all that requires is a pragmatic agreement to use either the existing EU or US systems.

          1. Mooseman Silver badge

            The trouble is the existing GPS system is entirely at the whim of the USA. Our military particularly relies on it, which means we could be left helpless at the push of a US button. Galileo was meant to make that scenario impossible, but some idiotic country insisted that no non-EU member should be able to access the data or benefit from it in any way.....ooops….

            1. Anonymous Coward
              Anonymous Coward

              While it's not a popular opinion, many of the UK's and US's interests are tightly linked - losing access to GPS is likely the least of the UK's worries in such a scenario as it would likely result in challenges around access to military intelligence and support/spares that handicap our armed services. Pretending that the EU would be able to fulfill this relationship ignored many practical issues where territories/companies/people lay outside the EU's interests. That's not attempting to argue for leave/remain, more an acknowledgement of the UK's interests.

              What Galileo potentially promised other than a strategic fallback for GPS that we never really wanted to use was the potential to access higher resolution time/location information that would allow us to improve current systems (mapping/locations services/autonomous vehicle operation etc).

              And even with the benefits of such a system as Galileo, as a pragmatist, I think buying a service/partnering with an existing US/EU system is a better option than trying to build our own.

            2. Anonymous Coward
              Anonymous Coward

              As I recall, the public Galileo signal is good for 1 m accuracy.

              Good enough for most purposes and free to all.

              1. Anonymous Coward
                Anonymous Coward

                Civilian GPS is better than 7.8 meters for GPS and better than 3 meters for Galileo.

                With appropriate equipment/access, these drop to ~0.7m for GPS or ~0.2m for Galileo.

                The public services can be withdrawn.

                1. Anonymous Coward
                  Anonymous Coward

                  Couldn't something pick up the unencrypted singals from GPS, Galelilio, and all the other similar services, and using some clever maths, produce a location that is even more accurate?

                  1. Jon 37

                    Yes, many of the services are compatible, so if you can see enough GPS + Galileo satellites you can treat them as basically the same.

                    There are other options too:

                    EGNOS is free to use. It's provided by the EU, and consists of some ground stations and a geostationary satellite. The ground stations measure the error in GPS and the satellite broadcasts a radio signal containing that information. Suitable GPS+EGNOS receivers can receive the EGNOS signal and use it to correct the GPS so it is accurate to within 1.5m, as well as being immediately alerted if a GPS satellite is broadcasting a wrong signal. Aircraft can use EGNOS-enhanced GPS when landing, to precisely fly to the start of the runway.

                    There's also "differential GPS", where you set up a fixed GPS receiver and send the data from that to your mobile GPS receiver. So long as the two are close enough, you can get incredibly precise positions. (Centimeters). Amongst other things it's used by farmers to automatically drive their tractors, so when planting or spraying or harvesting, each piece of the field gets covered exactly once - no overlap or missed bit.

        2. Tinslave_the_Barelegged

          > HS2 is looking um, a bigger white elephant.

          Meanwhile Trident replacement, meaning merely buying US missiles, looks likely to cost £200 billion. I'd rather they played space cadet with that kind of dosh.

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            >meaning merely buying US missiles

            It doesn't mean that - US companies aren't allowed to sell us Trident missiles (US law) - we lease them from and pay various US companies to service them - good news is that it's now Boeing providing the new GPS navigation units and refit - so nothing to worry about there and lack of Galileo access won't matter.

            https://www.defenseindustrydaily.com/boeing-keeps-trident-ii-navigation-systems-in-shape-who-will-win-bulgarias-1b-fighter-tender-australia-issues-rfi-for-sof-helicopter-requirement-040801/

  2. Warm Braw Silver badge

    Rockets are fuelled by more than wishful thinking

    Economy ditto,

    Perhaps we need a "chickens coming home to roost" icon.

    1. codejunky Silver badge

      Re: Rockets are fuelled by more than wishful thinking

      @Warm Braw

      "Economy ditto,"

      Wishful thinking is what got them this far. The chances of them changing that is slim.

    2. Fruit and Nutcase Silver badge
      Joke

      Re: Rockets are fuelled by more than wishful thinking

      ...fresh from a chlorine wash

  3. HmYiss

    #hipsterpriorities

    see title

    1. phuzz Silver badge
      WTF?

      Re: #hipsterpriorities

      But this article is about satellites, not beards or coffee?

  4. codejunky Silver badge

    Good

    "Another possibility is a dawning realisation that maybe the UK doesn't really need the BS"

    Really! I am shocked! Even for the EU its nothing more than a willy wagging toy. There are plenty of choices already. Forget the topic of brexit and just look to the needs of yet another GPS- is it necessary? The EU isnt going to do something militarily without the consent of the US anyway so has no reason to be blocked on GPS. It is dependent on Russian gas so the likelihood of going against Russia and the US is unlikely so keeps access to theirs. And china would squash the EU like a bug so again no reason not to have cooperation.

    So why the UK would need one beyond more willy wagging is the question.

    1. Pascal Monett Silver badge

      Re: Good

      Not only is it not really necessary to the UK, the UK most certainly doesn't have the resources to go it alone. Does the UK really believe it has USA-level budgets to play around with ? If that were the case, it would never have needed to enter the EU in the first place.

      Whether or not the EU needs it is up for debate, but one thing is certain : such a project needs EU-levels of resources. There is not one single country in the EU - or out of it - that could try this alone.

      The USA is the only country in the world that had the means and the reason to get this done. China might be able to do so now, and everything in its economic perspectives mean that it certainly will have the means in the future.

      But the UK ? All by itself ? Don't think so.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Good

        China might be able to do so now, and everything in its economic perspectives mean that it certainly will have the means in the future.

        It's been doing it since 2012. Search for "Beidou". Russia has one too (GLONASS).

        But the UK ? All by itself ? Don't think so.

        Why not? Brexit apart, it's not an especially difficult task, just a costly one. The maths and the technology is well understood, and the UK has lots of experience in making satellites, and designing/making some of the precision clocks in Galileo.

        Whether we (or the EU) need one is very debatable, but the biggest technological issue seems to be whether the 40-year-old GPS design, or the not-dissimilar 20-year-old Galileo one, is still the right way to do it. The technology has moved on hugely in recent decades.

        1. John Jennings Bronze badge

          Re: Good

          Article is a bit harsh. There are already more than the 3 common systems

          GPS - US

          Gallelo - EU

          Glonass - Russiua

          Beidou - China (comes online this year)

          India has a regional version,

          Japan does too.

          It is NOT unreasonable to avoid having such a strategic resource tied to a supplier not controlled by the state.

          The UK military would be one of the few countries without direct access to GPS while being in the top 10 by spend. S Korea (a US satellite) and Saudi (with its own issues) being the only others.

          It doesn't have to cost so many billions - its not as if the Uk hasnt built GPS satellites before. The ground infrastructure is indigenous as well.

          India and China both proved that full continent coverage could be achieved with 8 satellites. The UK could cover local requirements with similar. It could do it with less, by side loading something like the French DORIS system for better coverage at the fringes as range extenders.

          UK interests are likely to be UK and Atlantic, EU and USSR and ME (for military). It has lots of little possessions around the world which could be DORIS stations.

          1. tony2heads

            Re: Good

            Could be done, but little point if you can buy into one (or more) of the GNSS systems

          2. phuzz Silver badge

            Re: Good

            "Beidou - China (comes online this year)"

            It will offer full global coverage this year, but arguably it was completed either in 2011 when it offered full coverage of China (ie, everywhere that matters to the CCP), or December 2018 when it offered some global capability.

        2. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Good

          There is the major problem of finding the orbital slots and frequency allocations, neither of which is an infinite resource, and both must be shared with the rest of the world, and is thus subject to various international agreements and mandatory co-operation.

      2. Yes Me Silver badge
        Thumb Down

        Re: Good

        It was drivel from the start, just part of the obfuscation of how economically disastrous Brexit would be, with an absurdly low cost estimate of course. Unless cancelled soon, it will be precisely as successful as Blue Streak.

        1. phuzz Silver badge
          Flame

          Re: Good

          Hey now! Much of the technology and know-how behind Blue Streak ended up in Black Arrow, the UK's successful, homegrown, orbital launcher. Which now I think of it, could be a perfect launch vehicle for a global positioning satellite.*

          You know, if the government hadn't cancelled it in 1971.

          * Assuming a modest upgrade program for the rocket over the last fifty years so it could put ~200kg in orbit, and some shrinkage in the satellite mass.

    2. Len Silver badge
      Holmes

      Re: Good

      The way the US is developing (I am expecting another term for Trump followed by attempts to make his daughter president without those pesky elections) I can see European countries increasing the amount of military stuff without American consent. I very much doubt the French asked for US permission when they sent thousands of troops to West Africa to fight IS and Al Qaeda offshoots there. I very much doubt they will ask in future.

      As for EU level, I don't see military actions being decided at EU level for at least two decades. There is now PESCO but I expect that to mainly remain shared weapons production and purchasing and very little, if any, central command.

      Anyway, I don't think it is all that relevant as I don't think the main reason to start Galileo was for military action. I think it was predominantly for domestic use (with potential military use for individual nations *) without the risk of the US shutting down a vital bit of infrastructure. With centimetres of accuracy there are suddenly quite a few domestic/industrial/commercial applications (driverless vehicles?) one could quickly become reliant upon for the functioning of society and economy. Just like we have become dependent on 3G/4G/5G and we'd be fucked if some foreign power would tomorrow decide to turn it all off.

      * As Pascal Monett mentions, no single country could pull this off on their own (not even France), so even if some European country had these ambitions they would always have had to pool resources at EU level to get it off the ground.

      1. jonathan keith Silver badge

        Re: Good

        If he's going to engineer (word used in its loosest possible sense) a method to avoid those pesky elections, why bother setting his daughter up when just as easily he could make himself El Presidente-For-Life?

        1. Len Silver badge

          Re: Good

          Because “for life” doesn’t mean very much for Donald Trump. I think it will be a miracle if he lives another five years to see the end of his term. He is an old man with an unhealthy lifestyle, no amount of money can offset that.

          1. Clunking Fist Bronze badge

            Re: Good

            "He is an old man with an unhealthy lifestyle, no amount of money can offset that." Indeed, that's why we have to hope that Biden, Sanders or Bloomberg can replace him! preferably Biden, so there's a chance that sniffing young girls hair is legalised. Actually Bllomberg would be good, so we can bring in racial profiling and get rid of farmers. No, Sanders would be good, cos free stuff.

            1. sabroni Silver badge
              Happy

              Re: Sanders would be good, cos free stuff.

              No, Sanders would be good cos socialism.

            2. Anonymous Coward
              Anonymous Coward

              Re: Good

              Biden is showing signs of dementia. Before long he'll be as incomprehensible as Trump on a good day.

          2. Andy The Hat Silver badge

            Re: Good

            Not sure how unhealthy he is - I always thought he had a particularly good colour, Dulux Toasted Terracotta if I'm not mistaken ...

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Good

        no single country could pull this off on their own (not even France)

        The USA, China, Russia, India and Japan have all managed it.

        1. doublelayer Silver badge

          Re: Good

          Japan's QZSS is not a global navigation system. It serves eastern Asia and the northern Pacific only. India's serves south Asia and the northern Indian Ocean. Japan is planning to extend their system in the future, but they haven't done so yet.

          The only currently-existing global satellite navigation systems are those run by the U.S., Russia, China, and the EU. It's not impossible for some other country to set up their own, but it is expensive. This will undoubtedly lead to many questions about whether it is helpful and worth the price.

          1. Raj

            Re: Good

            The Indian NAVIC system is currently a 7-satellite constellation covering all of India and a 1500km region past its borders. Four more satellites are due for launch by 2022 to further expand coverage past India's borders. The long term plan is a 24-satellite GINS (Global Indian Navigation System) for which statutory filing of the frequency spectrum was done about 8 years ago. Qualcomm's Snapdragon 865 is the first SoC from them to have NAVIC support.

            As with most such technologies developed by India, this has its genesis in adverse technology denial - back when GPS was degraded during the 1999 Kargil War. The Indian government responded by sanctioning the IRNSS project soon after and 20 years from the original incident, it's fully in operation.

          2. John Jennings Bronze badge

            Re: Good

            The UK isnt a world power any more - likely doesnt need more than a regional system - when you consider that regional means 1/3 of the globe with 8 satellites.

            Chinas full system only comes online this year - its still regional until September. Its used in Search and Rescue Systems (SAR)

            1. doublelayer Silver badge

              Re: Good

              I believe the original proposal was for a global system, and it would probably make sense. If anyone's going to be using it, the British military would probably be one of those. so they'd want access wherever there are large military bases, including the U.K. itself, the Indian Ocean (Diego Garcia), and if small bases are added in, the western and southern Atlantic as well. They would probably also want coverage in places they might be expecting to have to fight, such as south and west Asia. That will require much more than one regional setup, and while you could provide coverage in all those areas without a full global system, it would still cost almost as much.

          3. vtcodger Silver badge

            Re: Good

            Not only is its coverage area limited, QZSS satellites are essentially additional GPS satellites. If GPS is down QZSS is almost certainly down as well. What QZSS buys the Nihonjin is reduction in multipath precision problems in dense urban areas as well as improved vertical accuracy within its target area (Japan), Wikipedia says it's operational with 4 satellites with 3 more to launch shortly. Cost 170B JPY = about 1.2B pounds. Could Britain do something similar? Probably. But you'll still need GPS. Not to mention that it wouldn't provide coverage for most of the tiny specks of land that constitute the remaining British Overseas Territories.

      3. Clunking Fist Bronze badge

        Re: Good

        "As for EU level, I don't see military actions being decided at EU level for at least two decades."

        You think the EU will be around in 2 decades. Bless.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Good

          "You think the EU will be around in 2 decades. Bless."

          probably a better chance that a UK will be around in 20 years

          1. Fred Dibnah Silver badge

            Re: Good

            That or than?

      4. codejunky Silver badge

        Re: Good

        @Len

        "I can see European countries increasing the amount of military stuff without American consent"

        Consent isnt the issue. The US is pushing for Europe to increase its military capabilities, its Europe which generally has little desire to spend on military. The Germans commented that they didnt know what they could possibly spend the money on if they upped their military spending to 2% GDP. The same Germany who couldnt even get planes and pilots to Iraq due to the poor funding of their capability.

        "I very much doubt the French asked for US permission when they sent thousands of troops to West Africa to fight IS and Al Qaeda offshoots there. I very much doubt they will ask in future."

        I dont believe the US cares if the French go to Africa. But there is no way the French would kick off against someone if the US was against it, and if the French wont then the EU wont. So they will have access to GPS. But of course there is more than just one GPS already which is why having yet another one is just a prestige thing.

        "I think it was predominantly for domestic use"

        Hopefully there is a useful reason for it otherwise its a lot of money up the wall (or into space). Which still comes back down to the UK really not having any need to make one.

        1. The Nazz Silver badge

          Re: Good

          Localised struggles.

          Meanwhile, the Greeks are left to draw on Churchill's words "we'll fight them on the beaches."

          Is there also, any rule in history that says a country can only have the one civil war?

          1. phuzz Silver badge

            Re: Good

            "Is there also, any rule in history that says a country can only have the one civil war?"

            Of course not, the UK has had plenty, we just only admit to one. (For example, the War of the Roses was clearly a civil war, but not a 'Civil War').

        2. Mark Dempster

          Re: Good

          >The Germans commented that they didnt know what they could possibly spend the money on if they upped their military spending to 2% GDP. The same Germany who couldnt even get planes and pilots to Iraq due to the poor funding of their capability.<

          Germany is also forbidden by international treaty (as is Japan) from having signifcant armed forces - they're only allowed a small local defence force. That's a consequence of losing WW2...

          1. codejunky Silver badge

            Re: Good

            @Mark Dempster

            "Germany is also forbidden by international treaty (as is Japan) from having signifcant armed forces - they're only allowed a small local defence force. That's a consequence of losing WW2..."

            Is that the excuse for having a load of (Typhoons?) with a handful in working order? Working order being a subjective term as they sent pilots one way, planes the other to help fight ISIS in Iraq. The only one to successfully arrive is now the president of the EU, the German war minister. Also it was in 2014 they agreed to a spending threshold- https://www.forbes.com/sites/niallmccarthy/2018/07/10/defense-expenditure-of-nato-members-visualized-infographic/#3fc2824114cf

          2. EvilDrSmith Bronze badge

            Re: Good

            I think something along those lines is written into the Japanese Constitution, not sure it's an international treaty. Also, not sure that there is anything like that in the German Constitution.

            The German Army at the tail end of the Cold War was close to half a million strong, so not exactly small. It's currently I think a bit under 40% that size.

            There have also been continuous reports of unserviceable planes, ships, submarines, tanks, etc, since the end of the Cold War (it did end, didn't it?) because the money isn't there to maintain/operate them, provide spares, etc.

            2% GDP is an agreed target minimum spend on defence. The rules are quite generous on what counts (pensions to former service personnel do). The German Government agreed to the target, like all NATO governments. It's not entirely unreasonable that countries that do meet the target get upset with the countries that don't seem to be trying.

      5. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Good

        "I very much doubt the French asked for US permission when they sent thousands of troops to West Africa to fight IS and Al Qaeda offshoots there."

        As a French citizen, I'm sad to confirm that they did ask, since they needed US transport planes to go there (a minor scandal in the French media at the time).

        http://www.opex360.com/2013/01/23/lus-air-force-mobilise-3-avions-c-17-pour-transporter-du-materiel-militaire-francais-au-mali/

        The bombing of Libya, on the other hand, we did start by ourselves, it's close enough. I can't say the end result justifies the stupid national pride we felt at the time.

        https://fr.wikipedia.org/wiki/Intervention_militaire_de_2011_en_Libye#Observation_et_sup%C3%A9riorit%C3%A9_a%C3%A9rienne

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Good

          The French had to take out the Libyan Ministry of Receipts, before anyone else got there.

    3. Adam Foxton

      Re: Good

      GPS does a lot more than navigate idiots through fields and off cliffs.

      It's also used to synchronise timing devices, a key part of things like mobile phones, ST2110 video devices, and even some sensors for underwater use.

      Rely on GPS for all that and if the Americans wanted to they could throw those systems out of whack, degrading until they failed.

      Other Commentards: What other uses can you think of for GPS?

      1. doublelayer Silver badge

        Re: Good

        That's technically true, but it's worth keeping in mind two points:

        The U.S. doesn't get to decide who they break. Their options are that everyone can use it, only the U.S. military and people they've given the keys to can use it, or nobody can use it. If they decide to mess up the civilian tech, they will mess up plenty of things, including things in the U.S. that rely on it. They can't give the keys to domestic users easily because typical hardware doesn't support them and those keys would inevitably get leaked. That makes it somewhat implausible that they'd choose to do so.

        A lot of hardware capable of using GPS can also be used for reception of signals from one or more of the other systems. All of those systems also provide time signals. Therefore, one could ensure that the hardware running these time-sensitive systems supports multiple satellites, and if the U.S. ever goes crazy and destroys theirs, just fall back to Russia's, China's, or the EU's.

        Unless we get into a situation where a country decides to invest in massive jamming operations (in which case a dedicated system won't help) or where the U.S., Russia, China, and the EU are all allied against whatever country we're in (in which case I'm leaving immediately), we'll continue to have a usable time signal.

        1. Robert Carnegie Silver badge

          Re: Good

          I mean, if the US wants to charge the UK for use of GPS then presumably they can switch off the satellites while they pass over Great Britain and on again afterwards.

      2. Mike 137 Silver badge

        What other uses can you think of for GPS?

        It stabilises the 10 MHz system clock rate for our lab instruments to 10ppb

    4. Smooth Newt Silver badge
      Mushroom

      Re: Good

      The EU isnt going to do something militarily without the consent of the US anyway so has no reason to be blocked on GPS.

      This may be rather a dubious assumption on the decade or more long timescales of building satellite navigation systems.

      For instance, I've heard that there is now an American president who thinks NATO is a shit idea, and an unusually close personal relationship with the Russian dictator, who in turn covets the EU's Baltic states. Another Trump term, and I can imagine the EU concluding that the Americans can no longer be trusted to help fight against Russian aggression, or the US pulling out of NATO entirely. The EU will certainly then become militarily and diplomatically detached from the US, and will definitely need their own satellite navigation system.

      The British, on the other hand, probably don't, since we are now out of the EU and will soon be free to do whatever the Americans tell us.

      1. imanidiot Silver badge

        Re: Good

        "and an unusually close personal relationship with the Russian dictator"

        Citation needed. I keep seeing this claim, but I haven't seen anything that shows a particularly strong relationship between the Dorito-in-Chief and the Russian Mobster far above or beyond what earlier presidents have had.

        1. Smooth Newt Silver badge
          Meh

          Re: Good

          Citation needed. I keep seeing this claim, but I haven't seen anything that shows a particularly strong relationship between the Dorito-in-Chief and the Russian Mobster far above or beyond what earlier presidents have had.

          "Citation needed" means you should go off find some evidence, or some counter-evidence, rather than expecting me to work for you at zero expense and effort to yourself. You're not an IT contactor agent are you?

          But, just this once, because the choice is between doing this displacement activity and starting an (unpaid) programming task in some tedious and feature poor 1970s vintage language called C, I'll make an exception.

          First, some background. These two articles explain what has happened in past presidencies. There is a period of good relations, which leads to a temporary "reset" in the antagonism between the two presidents and their countries. In the cases other than Trump, it has lasted a very short time before Russia's actions mean that normal frosty service is resumed.

          "While the Clinton, Bush, and Obama resets didn’t last, they provided periods of respite in the historically tense ties and allowed both sides to achieve important policy goals. Ironically, Trump’s affinity for Russia and its president, Vladimir Putin, is the main reason for his inability to put the relationship on a more stable footing."

          https://www.fpri.org/article/2018/12/the-reset-that-wasnt-the-permanent-crisis-of-u-s-russia-relations/

          "In June 2000, the new Russian leader hosted President Bill Clinton at the Kremlin. During the two days of talks, as well as a joint news conference dominated by arms control and missile defense, the two leaders were polite but reserved; a notable change from the personal warmth that had characterized the relationship between Clinton and Putin’s predecessor Boris Yeltsin. "

          https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/democracy-post/wp/2018/07/03/the-dark-history-of-u-s-presidential-summits-with-putin/

          Now for some more detail on summits:

          "For the most part, the two world leaders were more friendly toward one another than Trump's predecessors were. Putin met the last four US presidents since he took office in the 1990s."

          https://www.businessinsider.com/putin-met-obama-bush-trump-clinton-us-presidents-2018-7?r=US&IR=T#june-2001-putin-and-former-president-george-w-bush-3

          "Unlike summits with prior presidents, which had been scripted in every detail, Trump apparently intended to wing it, and meet with Putin alone with no aides present who might preserve a record of what was said. The extraordinary friendliness that Trump had shown towards Putin led to the widespread suspicion that Putin might have some kind of hold over Trump, or even that Trump is a Russian agent."https://www.forbes.com/sites/stevedenning/2018/07/29/understanding-the-trump-putin-bromance

          And an important component is the constant uncritical praise that Trump has for Putin when they are not together in the same room.

          "Donald Trump is on record as praising Putin at least as early as 2008, when he compared Putin to then-US President George W. Bush and indicated that Putin was the better leader of the two."

          https://www.aber.ac.uk/en/media/departmental/interpol/images/Dr-Jeny-Matthers---Paper---The-Trump---Putin-Relationship.pdf

          "During the campaign, Trump repeatedly praised Putin and downplayed objections to Russia’s seizure of Crimea. In one extraordinary campaign rally, he called on Russia to hack emails from former U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, who happened to be his rival for the presidency. "

          https://www.theatlantic.com/politics/archive/2019/01/trump-russia-putin-burden/580477/

          Now, reaching for my pencil, how do I declare a pure virtual class in C?

          1. imanidiot Silver badge

            Re: Good

            That just proves that he is an idiot when it comes to (international) politics and seems to agree with the political views of Putin (neither of which is that surprising or even THAT unusual). Not really seeing any evidence of a "close personal relationship" there. Putin seems to regard Trump as a useful idiot , nothing more. Trump from his side seems mostly to desperately want some sort of acknowledgement that he's a big and powerful world leader

            1. Robert Carnegie Silver badge

              Re: Good

              Apparently God-President Putin has just come out for the sanctity of marriage as a constitutional rule. President Trump therefore is going to hell. It remains to be determined when.

          2. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: Good

            At a guess, post the phone number and the time and subject of the class.

      2. codejunky Silver badge

        Re: Good

        @Smooth Newt

        "For instance, I've heard that there is now an American president who thinks NATO is a shit idea"

        I hear he is sick of the US picking up the bill for European defence. Which is a reasonable statement.

        "and an unusually close personal relationship with the Russian dictator"

        You may want to make comments about Germany too since it relies on Russian gas. That probably holds more weight than Trump in bed with the Russians.

        "or the US pulling out of NATO entirely"

        If we imagine that scenario then Europe is screwed. Currently the European resources for NATO come from few countries, the UK being one and France being another major contributor. There being a massive shortage that the Russians would roll over without much effort. If the US pulls out of NATO then Europe has little defence.

        "The British, on the other hand, probably don't, since we are now out of the EU and will soon be free to do whatever the Americans tell us."

        Why would we give ourselves to the US? Just because we whored ourselves out to the EU doesnt mean we have to do the same for someone else.

        1. Uncle Slacky Silver badge
          Facepalm

          Re: Good

          > I hear he is sick of the US picking up the bill for European defence. Which is a reasonable statement.

          No it's not - there is no "NATO budget", Trump just wants to sell more expensive unnecessary US-made weaponry to the rest of NATO for the benefit of the US economy/war profiteers. Who does Europe need to defend itself against, anyway?

          > Why would we give ourselves to the US? Just because we whored ourselves out to the EU doesnt mean we have to do the same for someone else.

          You think you're going to have any choice in the matter?

          1. codejunky Silver badge

            Re: Good

            @Uncle Slacky

            "No it's not - there is no "NATO budget","

            I think that was Trumps opinion too. The US pays for Europe's defences and Europe cant be arsed.

            "Who does Europe need to defend itself against, anyway?"

            I hope this is a joke. The EU recently pissed off Russia and then went running to the US when Russia reacted. However there have been suggestions that an EU army would have been useful during the migration crisis which might be about to start again.

            "You think you're going to have any choice in the matter?"

            Yes. But it is a sad state to believe there is nothing better for you than whoring yourself out (the UK). I know it happened with the EU but that is not the only way to live.

            1. Intractable Potsherd Silver badge

              Re: Good

              @codejunky: "... it is a sad state to believe there is nothing better for you than whoring yourself out (the UK). I know it happened with the EU but that is not the only way to live."

              That sounds awfully close to "You can live on your knees or die standing proudly." (Note: I definitely don't think we "whored" ourselves to the EU at all, but I do think that the shit-heads in Westminster will whore themselves to the USA once "standing proud" looks like losing them an election.)

              1. codejunky Silver badge

                Re: Good

                @Intractable Potsherd

                "I definitely don't think we "whored" ourselves to the EU at all"

                We got sold out at the very least. I do however think its the mentality some remainers seem to have as if we should be under the EU or we will be under the US, which I point out there is no need to be under either.

                After hearing this kind of talk for so long they leave this impression (to me) of a whore on their knees servicing the EU because they are above getting on their knees for the US. Not realising that they are still on their knees servicing as if thats their only choice. Like when they say things like 'You think you're going to have any choice in the matter?'

        2. Smooth Newt Silver badge
          Happy

          Re: Good

          If we imagine that scenario then Europe is screwed. Currently the European resources for NATO come from few countries, the UK being one and France being another major contributor. There being a massive shortage that the Russians would roll over without much effort. If the US pulls out of NATO then Europe has little defence.

          I am sure the European countries would enlarge their military forces to compensate, at an expense to social programmes. After all, in the last World War most of the effort on one side was provided by a small proportion of current EU members. It doesn't take long if it is a priority. e.g. Starting around 1933, Germany built up its forces from more or less nothing to something which could start a world war within five years; and the US took four years to go from 200,000 troops in 1939 to 7 million.

          You may want to make comments about Germany too since it relies on Russian gas.

          "Relies" is a strong word. In 2015, 35 percent of gas imports came from Russia, 34 percent from Norway and 29 percent from the Netherlands. Gas only accounts for 23% of Germany’s primary energy use.* So, 8% of Germany's energy consumption. I don't suppose Germany would worry too much about its Russian gas if there are Russian tanks parked in Tallin.

          *https://www.forbes.com/sites/davekeating/2018/07/19/how-dependent-is-germany-on-russian-gas

          1. codejunky Silver badge

            Re: Good

            @Smooth Newt

            "I am sure the European countries would enlarge their military forces to compensate, at an expense to social programmes"

            That is what would be needed. It would be a bit of a change for them as social programs seem pretty important to the populations, as anyone would expect. Its easy to give but hard to take away. Maybe they would but when Trump said he might not be parking US tanks on the European lawn it was Europe who twitched.

            ""Relies" is a strong word."

            Good article, which finishes with an important issue. If the green push doesnt work then Germany will be reliant on gas and its fields are almost depleted. Considering the green roll out has been a disaster (subsidy to green tech, then also subsidy to fossil fuel so the lights actually stay on) there is reason for concern. Germany may not be 100% dependent on Russian gas but they do rely on it as far as I am aware (I have been known to be wrong).

            1. Anonymous Coward
              Anonymous Coward

              Re: Good

              It is possible that sanity will set in, and they'll start building new design nuclear plants.

              1. codejunky Silver badge

                Re: Good

                @AC

                "It is possible that sanity will set in, and they'll start building new design nuclear plants."

                Sanity on the green front seems in short supply but I too hope. By shutting down their nuclear plants Germany moved onto brown coal. How can anyone take MMCC co2 theory seriously when the solution is rejected outright. Build a load of nuclear power and we meet climate targets, produce reliable and plentiful energy and it probably continues to be cheaper than 'renewables'.

        3. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Good

          > Just because we whored ourselves out to the EU doesnt mean we have to do the same for someone else.

          How many democratically elected representatives does the UK have in the US senate?

          1. codejunky Silver badge

            Re: Good

            @AC

            "How many democratically elected representatives does the UK have in the US senate?"

            The same number as the EU has in the US senate. So what does that have to do with the price of fish?

            1. Anonymous Coward
              Anonymous Coward

              Re: Good

              That's a strawman, and shows a complete logic failure.

              We are talking about the *UK* and it's relationships with the EU vs its relationship with the US, NOT the EUs relationship with the US.

              The comparison is about how many UK representatives there are.

              1. codejunky Silver badge

                Re: Good

                @AC

                "The comparison is about how many UK representatives there are."

                You may not have understood the phrase- "what does that have to do with the price of fish?". It means I dont see how what you have posted has any relation at all to what is being discussed. Its your cue to fill in the gap.

                "We are talking about the *UK* and it's relationships with the EU vs its relationship with the US, NOT the EUs relationship with the US.

                The comparison is about how many UK representatives there are."

                So again- "The same number as the EU has in the US senate"

    5. Lars Silver badge
      Happy

      Re: Good

      Why build cars when the Americans build them, why bother with Airbus when there is Boeing.

      The simple fact is that if we in Europe stop building and competing then we will fall behind in technology.

      There is more on this topic on the internet including this on the Wikipedia:

      "following its exit from the European Union (EU). As a result, Airbus plans to relocate work on the Ground Control Segment (GCS) from its Portsmouth premises to an EU state.".

      https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Galileo_(satellite_navigation)

      I have no doubt that when the dust from brexit has settled the UK will have a new agreement regarding Galileo like some other non EU members, and smart Brits working with this project might find themselves working on the same project in an EU country non the worse off.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Good

        Why build cars when the EU builds them, why bother with BAE when there is Airbus.

        The simple fact is that if we in the UK stop building and competing then we will fall behind in technology.

        FTFY.

        1. Smooth Newt Silver badge
          Unhappy

          Re: Good

          The simple fact is that if we in the UK stop building and competing then we will fall behind in technology.

          Indeed. If you stop doing it, you lose it. It's not just the technology, it's the people too.

          Where are we with nuclear power? Having built the World's first commercial nuclear power station, we now have to buy them from the Chinese and the Americans. Aviation? Until 1966, the Farnborough Airshow only had British built planes, now I doubt if even a single powered manned aircraft was built in this country last year. Railways? Commercial shipbuilding? Automobiles? Electronics? All either gone completely or in foreign ownership and already halfway out of the door.

          1. baud Bronze badge

            Re: Good

            Regarding nuclear power stations, Hinkley Point station is being built by EDF, which is owned by the French government. So it's not just the Chinese and the Americans

          2. H in The Hague Silver badge

            Re: Good

            "All either gone completely or in foreign ownership and already halfway out of the door."

            Well, the automotive industry seems to be doing rather well under foreign ownership - owners who have invested in the businesses and made them competitive.

            1. Smooth Newt Silver badge
              Meh

              Re: Good

              Well, the automotive industry seems to be doing rather well under foreign ownership - owners who have invested in the businesses and made them competitive.

              And who can pull the plug at a moment's notice. Hard Brexit, anyone?

              Other countries seem to be rather better at keeping their automotive industries - Renault, Peugeot, Volkswagen, Nissan, BMW etc.

          3. Lars Silver badge
            Happy

            Re: Good

            "Having built the World's first commercial nuclear power station, we now have to buy them from the Chinese and the Americans. "

            A few corrections.

            "On June 27, 1954, the USSR's Obninsk Nuclear Power Plant, based on what would become the prototype of the RBMK reactor design, became the world's first nuclear power plant to generate electricity for a power grid, producing around 5 megawatts of electric power.[35]

            On July 17, 1955 the BORAX III reactor, the prototype to later Boiling Water Reactors, became the first to generate electricity for an entire community, the town of Arco, Idaho.".

            (for whatever "commercial" means).

            The Americans have taken some time off regarding nuclear power stations.

            The French have the technology together with Siemens for the turbines. The Chines cooperate with the French and are the guys who actually build stuff.

            Apart from that there are the Russians who could deliver too if somebody wanted.

          4. Jamie Jones Silver badge

            Re: Good

            Exactly! All the fault of the EU, of course.

            Once we are finally free from their demonic shackles, we'll be the world leaders with our British-made exports! Briannia rules the waves, after all (All said in an "Al Murray's 'Pub landlord'" accent)

            </sarc>

      2. MJI Silver badge

        Re: Good

        Airbus & Boeing - after the 737 Debacle?

        Cars - I prefer British cars to Yank cars. I own an early 2000s British made 4x4. My previous cars have been Scottish and pan European (German French and British in one car).

        Want to see horrible look at German basic level cars, I had a nice car a big saloon, large EFI engine, lots of nice stuff and it was bottom of range but did not feel it.

        German version, no rev counter, small carb engine and no power steering!

      3. imanidiot Silver badge

        Re: Good

        "I have no doubt that when the dust from brexit has settled the UK will have a new agreement regarding Galileo like some other non EU members, and smart Brits working with this project might find themselves working on the same project in an EU country non the worse off."

        The problem is that the UK itself INSISTED at the start of the Galileo project that non-EU states be excluded from access to or work on the secure (military) section of Galileo. Now that the (not so) United Kingdom has stepped out of the EU that means it's a bit of a high speed lead meets foot scenario. There's a good chance that according to the rules enacted on the insistence of the UK itself, British citizens are excluded from work on the secure sections (including the crypto) of the Galileo system. No matter how smart they are.

        1. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

          Re: Good

          "British citizens are excluded"

          Unless they were born in NI or have a parent or grandparent who was born there or in the Irish Republic.

        2. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Good

          "There's a good chance that according to the rules enacted on the insistence of the UK itself, British citizens are excluded from work on the secure sections (including the crypto) of the Galileo system."

          Although Britain remains a member of ESA after Brexit, the EC insisted that ESA remove all British citizens from any work on EU funded programmes (Galileo, EGNOS, Copernicus) by 31st January 2020, regardless of any access to EU classified material.

    6. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Good

      More accurately, if the EU ever intends to be capable of its own military policy, it needs a dependable GNSS that other major powers cannot just turn off.

      And you don't squash a nuclear armed power with SLBMs, if you have any sense.

      Also, China is very far away, and does not have the logistic and military capability of projecting significant military force that far.

  5. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

    "politicos realise space is hard"

    So's a lot of other stuff. I wonder how long it's going to take for them to realise that.

    1. Jeffrey Nonken

      If they're anything like my boss, the answer is "never."

  6. Fazal Majid

    Galileo is hardly a success story either

    It’s had major outages and the atomic clocks in the satellites are failing much faster than expected, so the satellites’ lifetime will be curtailed.

    1. Zippy´s Sausage Factory

      Re: Galileo is hardly a success story either

      Well at least it's actually up there, in space. As opposed to the UK version, which in true British fashion, has only got as far as a delayed report about doing something.

      1. werdsmith Silver badge

        Re: Galileo is hardly a success story either

        It's only up there in space because SSTL in Guildford, in true British fasion, designed and built the host spacecraft.

        1. Mooseman Silver badge

          Re: Galileo is hardly a success story either

          yes...because we were part of the project. What's your point exactly?

      2. AndrueC Silver badge
        Facepalm

        Re: Galileo is hardly a success story either

        As opposed to the UK version, which in true British fashion, has only got as far as a delayed report about doing something.

        For twenty years everyone where I live - and quite a few people just passing through - has wanted a bypass around Farthinghoe on the A422. Mrs Leadsom was so proud recently because despite screwing up the initial application she still managed to help secure funding...for a survey.

        I fully expect the bypass to open the day after I retire and no longer have much need for it. So expect it to open in about seven years.

        It's so nice to know that - according to that blog - the Transport Secretary has sent Northamptonshire County Council an Expression of Interest form. How jolly hockey sticks.

        1. Roland6 Silver badge

          Re: Galileo is hardly a success story either

          >It's so nice to know that - according to that blog - the Transport Secretary has sent Northamptonshire County Council an Expression of Interest form. How jolly hockey sticks.

          Well, if BoJo and buddies can get their act together and pass the necessary legislation, Northamptonshire County Council will cease to exist as from 6th April 2020, so that was an exercise in futile box-ticking.

  7. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Just so the Trade Deal negociators

    don't get lost on their home way from Brussels after they have been kicked out for intransigency.

    Don't woory peeps we will take control. Not sure of what but whatever is it... we will be in control of it.

  8. Justthefacts

    Shame we aren’t in Galileo?

    Shame we aren’t in Galileo.....that’s due to launch Full Operational Capability in July.....

    Hahaha. Only joking :) The EU assumed everyone knew that their schedule was purely “aspirational”, and was certainly never meant to be taken seriously.

    Actually the next launch (for FOC-FM23 on Ariane6) has been delayed until Jan21st 2021, but because of in-orbit failures that’s not sufficient. Marginal service should be achieved in September 2021 launch, but anyway I wouldn’t hold your breath. For reasons of redundancy within the three orbital planes, they won’t be able to actually offer a guaranteed Commercial Service until at least 2023-2024, and that’s with rose-tinted specs on.

    More realistic estimate, based on historic launch and in-orbit failure rate, is that they actually *never* reach the point where they launch fast enough to replace failed spacecraft, and never achieve Commercial Service. At least, not before 2030 which is when the next tranche of boondoggle contracts are due to let.

    1. Andy 73
      Joke

      Re: Shame we aren’t in Galileo?

      Comrade, you're not allowed to criticise the EU. This is the comments section for people who want to savour the schadenfreude of Brexit not being a time of unicorns and cake.

      Please report to the centre for reconditioning, and in the mean time remember to state that the UK is incapable of delivering anything, or achieving anything without help from people bigger and smarter than us.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Shame we aren’t in Galileo?

        What the UK achieves, it achieves despite the politicians and the less educated part of the country. Sadly, they are currently making policy. It is not a good look.

        1. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

          Re: Shame we aren’t in Galileo?

          "the less educated part of the country."

          You need to include the over-educated part not just the intersect between that set and the set of politicians.

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: Shame we aren’t in Galileo?

            Explain over-education to me. My experience is that the better educated people are, the more they tend to understand that some problems are very complex and require a lot of consideration.

            The entire Brexit thing was because Farage was getting votes from the right wing of the Conservative Party and they thought the referendum would get those votes back one way or another.

            They were right, but they hadn't thought beyond that.

            1. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

              Re: Shame we aren’t in Galileo?

              "My experience is that the better educated people are, the more they tend to understand that some problems are very complex and require a lot of consideration."

              It depends in what they were educated. An education at Eton and Oxford in classics, PPE or whatever doesn't seem to encourage that understanding.

            2. codejunky Silver badge

              Re: Shame we aren’t in Galileo?

              @Benson's Cycle

              "My experience is that the better educated people are, the more they tend to understand that some problems are very complex and require a lot of consideration."

              Seriously? Once they have been stuck in the real world for a while maybe but considering the support for socialism from those going through the process of education and newly minted graduates it would seem a severe retardation under aspects they have little education about. Qualifications dont make people better educated, experience does.

              In my work (I am sure others will recognise this) there are many people with qualifications. But much fewer have a clue about what they are doing and that is in the subject they went to study!

              1. Anonymous Coward
                Anonymous Coward

                Re: Shame we aren’t in Galileo?

                "In my work (I am sure others will recognise this) there are many people with qualifications. But much fewer have a clue about what they are doing and that is in the subject they went to study!"

                But at least there is good money in being an esthetician, isn't there?

      2. Mooseman Silver badge

        Re: Shame we aren’t in Galileo?

        "Comrade, you're not allowed to criticise the EU. This is the comments section for people who want to savour the schadenfreude of Brexit not being a time of unicorns and cake."

        Well I used to think people who worked in IT were somehow brighter than average. The moronic posts by people who seem to think that either the EU is some kind of dictatorship or that the UK can achieve everything it has had up to now at no cost if we just *believe* hard enough has convinced me otherwise. Schadenfreude? You aint seen nothing yet. Your mess, you fix it.

      3. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

        Re: Shame we aren’t in Galileo?

        "Comrade, you're not allowed to criticise the EU."

        There is plenty about which one might criticise the EU. There may also be much one might criticise about one's face but that wouldn't be a good reason for applying a sharp blade to one's nose.

    2. Mooseman Silver badge

      Re: Shame we aren’t in Galileo?

      Galileo has 26 of the required 30 satellites in orbit already. Much as you would like to imagine it will all come crashing down without us, it won't.

  9. IGotOut Silver badge
    Joke

    Can't we just...

    Use a VPN and trick them into thinking we're in the Netherlands or somewhere?

    1. Smooth Newt Silver badge
      Trollface

      Re: Can't we just...

      Use a VPN and trick them into thinking we're in the Netherlands or somewhere?

      Yeah, but it will always come back giving our position as in the Netherlands or somewhere.

    2. Justthefacts

      Re: Can't we just...

      Why the joke icon?

      Duh, well yes, any U.K. company who wished to actually *pay* for Galileo Commercial Service is fully entitled and enabled to do so, at the identical price to a French company. And exactly as if you are based in the Philippines, or the Cote D’Ivoire. Have you not actually, ummm, *read* the Galileo Terms of Commercial Service?

      Of course, why any company or individual *would* choose to buy the service, I have no idea at all. And nor it seems, does anybody else. When the EU put it out for RFI, they got lots of interest from companies who thought the EU was going to pay *them* to test-drive the service. But not one single expression of interest from anybody prepared to pay for the service themselves. Not A Single One.

      The EU’s current best plan is to legally require EU member states to “purchase” the service, so that they can give it away for free to resident companies. And, as above, the problem with *that* plan, is that companies are actively refusing to get it for free. They expect to be paid to use it. And that’s where everything is stalled at the moment.

      1. Mark #255

        Re: Can't we just...

        I believe the Russians boosted GLONASS usage by making it a legal requirement that any GNSS receiver sold in the country had to be able to use GLONASS. Globalised manufacturing did the rest.

      2. JohnG Silver badge

        Re: Can't we just...

        The issue is not about the commercial service - it is about the secure Public Regulated Service and commercial organisation will not have access to this.

  10. lglethal Silver badge
    Trollface

    Might i suggest the UK version be called the

    Global Posturing System?

  11. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    "BS" ??

    Title...

    (time for another joss stick & whale song session perhaps?)

  12. SVV Silver badge

    A bit of negotiation with the EU might give the Brits access to the Public Regulated Service

    "Yes,of course you can buy access if you want to......and the cost? Let me just look it up and convert from Euros to Pounds for you..............Yes my friends it is a bargain, only £350 million pounds a week!"

    1. Len Silver badge

      Re: A bit of negotiation with the EU might give the Brits access to the Public Regulated Service

      Jokes aside. I think that’s what’s going to happen ultimately. The UK will pay an annual fee and will have a key to use the PRS. That key, just like the key of any participant, can be revoked if the others feel the UK misbehaves so shouldn’t be that of a problem.

      The only thing that’s really never coming back is allowing British firms to work on the more sensitive parts of the system. Those days are gone.

  13. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Another £92m down the drain...

    Boris seems to be committed to the goal of financially crippling the UK ASAP after Brexit.

    Just think what £92m could have done for our country if invested wisely. You could employ 2-3000 people with that money, perhaps implement a working proof of concept.

    It's about 8-10,000+ worker's total tax contribution, or the equivalent of a town with a population of say 25,000 - 30,000 people, like Staines *. (I hereby propose a new standard unit of wasted taxpayer's money, 1 "Staines" worth. )

    * see http://lovemytown.co.uk/Populations/TownsTable1.asp

    1. Roland6 Silver badge

      Re: Another £92m down the drain...

      >Just think what £92m could have done for our country if invested wisely.

      Not thinking big enough...

      Just think what £106Bn could have done for our country if invested wisely - instead, we may get a London-Birmingham shuttle service at some future date...

      1. Fruit and Nutcase Silver badge
        Joke

        BSE

        Just think what £106Bn could have done for our country if invested wisely - instead, we may get a London-Birmingham shuttle service at some future date...

        or a loony bridge scheme between NI and Scotland.

        Boris could give us BSE. Not, Bovine Spongiform Encephalopathy, though we may yet get that back if food and farming standards are dropped, but...

        Brexit/Boris Space Elevator

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      That's quite a range...

      I'm assuming the 2 is if it's sepnt on a project contracted to BAE, with the software delivered by Capita. And the net increase in employment will all be offshore.

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Another £92m down the drain...

      £92m

      It's only 4 days of our net contribution to the EU.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Another £92m down the drain...

        And our net contribution to the Eu for 47 years has just been surpassed by the amount we've lost due to brexit in the last 3 years.

        So, what's your £92m x 365 / 4 * 47 look like?

        https://www.businessinsider.com/brexit-will-cost-uk-more-than-total-payments-to-eu-2020-1?r=US&IR=T

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Another £92m down the drain...

          What complete bollocks.

  14. Oh Homer
    Mushroom

    "This year we are launching our new ... Space Council"

    Yeah, and that is the only thing you will ever launch, my little Nazi former friends.

    Maybe you could ask your equally Nazi soul mates across the Atlantic to plant a Union Jack on the moon, if they ever stop spending money on warfare long enough to save up for the trip.

    1. Fruit and Nutcase Silver badge

      Re: "This year we are launching our new ... Space Council"

      See BSE - above

  15. Hey Nonny Nonny Mouse

    They've had issues training the unicorn

    Any time soon it'll start to look a bit like brexit is the most insane idea this stupid little country has ever had.

    1. MJI Silver badge

      It already did!

    2. codejunky Silver badge

      @Hey Nonny Nonny Mouse

      "Any time soon it'll start to look a bit like brexit is the most insane idea this stupid little country has ever had."

      We have been hearing this for a few years now. We are all still waiting for that 'any time soon'. Guess soon is ambiguous enough to not really mean any specific timeframe

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: @Hey Nonny Nonny Mouse

        We haven't left yet, but still, our net contribution to the Eu for 47 years has just been surpassed by the amount we've lost due to brexit in the last 3 years.

        https://www.businessinsider.com/brexit-will-cost-uk-more-than-total-payments-to-eu-2020-1?r=US&IR=T

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: @Hey Nonny Nonny Mouse

          I see some flat-earther here is downvoting facts.

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      > this stupid little country has ever had.

      So can we hope you're going to bugger off and do your whingeing elsewhere?

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Already done it, I relcoated to Germany last year, Britain is a laughing stock.

        You bought brexit, you get to deal with the fallout.

        Enjoy the recession.

  16. CAPS LOCK Silver badge

    If only there were a cheap-to-deploy land based positioning system...

    ...errrr. there is, it's called eLORAN and works on the same principle as a GPSS, but it doesn't involve satellites so it's not sexy.

    1. Mooseman Silver badge

      Re: If only there were a cheap-to-deploy land based positioning system...

      how does that work with things like hills?

      1. imanidiot Silver badge

        Re: If only there were a cheap-to-deploy land based positioning system...

        You put the beacons on the top of the hills. You need quite a few of them though.

        The problem is that (e)Loran is/was designed for ship and aircraft navigations. Not many hills or mountains to be found at sea or high in the air usually. If you do encounter them, somethings 'Gone Wrong' (tm).

        1. Alan Brown Silver badge

          Re: If only there were a cheap-to-deploy land based positioning system...

          "You put the beacons on the top of the hills"

          O really?

          How does it work with things like refraction around peninsulas, bending effects along long coastlines and reflections off nearby islands?

          Hint, Loran only ever told you APPROXIMATELY where you were and could be up to 20 miles out in some cases. eLoran is an improvement but it's still not accurate enough to navigate shoals or littoral(brownwater) areas with

      2. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

        Re: If only there were a cheap-to-deploy land based positioning system...

        You park the base stations on top of them.

    2. KarMann Bronze badge

      Re: If only there were a cheap-to-deploy land based positioning system...

      I don't know this for sure, but, given that the transmitters are all land-based, wouldn't the triangulation be pretty useless for measuring altitude/elevation?

  17. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    £92M for a survey

    Compare the £92M quoted figure for the feasibility study to the £93M for the quantum computing centre announced a few days ago, which is supposed to be enough to keep us at the forefront of this field. And marvel at this country's ability to piss taxpayer's money up the wall, while simultaneously cutting services to the bone.

    1. Mike 137 Silver badge

      Re: £92M for a survey

      Ah, but I think you've missed the point - this is Big 4 consultancy. If it didn't cost that much nobody would trust the report. Meanwhile, small consultancies that charge much less are being squeezed to death by HMRC.

  18. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    We could do it!

    We could do it and do it a lot cheaper than most other countries. We could only do this if we had people at the top of government who understood how to save money and run projects properly.

    Sadly, we don't, so everything the government or councils do ends up costing 10x-100x more than it needs to.

    We'd also have to pay Musky or Benzos to launch them, as we don't have a launch system.

    The only value in doing it ourselves would be if it could be proved to offer something above GPS Block III/Galileo, which I think we could do for both military and civilian.

    However, I think the whole thing is a smokescreen and not for the reasons people think. I'm sure that secretly we have full access to the Galileo system and it was greatly amusing to see the EU "lock us out", as we now get the full military access (if needed) without paying for it.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: We could do it!

      Over the years I have concluded that the British problem is not that things cost too much; it is that things are done on the cheap and the problems of rectification are what then costs all the money.

      In places I've worked like Germany and the US, the money tends to get spent on doing things properly and it shows.

      In the UK, corners get cut and then it turns out those corners were really, really necessary.*

      During WW2 (sorry to hark back) we had to get things right and the Merlin programme and Bletchley were properly funded. Rolls-Royce is still a leader in aero engines and generators, possibly the result of the former, and we are quite good at things like cryptography. But the car industry and the computer industry were under-funded and the results are obvious. Thatcher notoriously refused to support ICL, for instance. The pattern is repeating itself. Failed businessman Dominic Cummings advises Johnson, and Johnson says "Fuck industry". It will not end well.

      *(One small example I remember was a new build office building. The correct radiators and so on were put in for the central heating, but to save money the boiler installation was handed over to Futtwick Plumbing. By the time it was realised that they had not understood how a condensing boiler worked, when the winter started to get a bit colder, the boilers had flooded and had to be replaced.)

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: We could do it!

        "In places I've worked like Germany and the US, the money tends to get spent on doing things properly and it shows."

        I was meant to fly into Berlin Brandenburg Airport in 2012 (was on my ticket)... it's still not open yet. Was meant to cost €2.83bn, will actually cost €7+.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: We could do it!

          "tends" in my post. One data point is not evidence of a tendency.

      2. Alan Brown Silver badge

        Re: We could do it!

        "Over the years I have concluded that the British problem is not that things cost too much; it is that things are done on the cheap and the problems of rectification are what then costs all the money."

        Exactly THIS. I spend half my job fighting that mentality.

        The UK mantra has always been "Great ideas, mediocre implementation, lousy execution, all fucked up by managers and accountants with no experience whatsoever in the fields they're controlling"

        1. Aussie Doc Bronze badge
          Pint

          Re: We could do it!

          "The UK mantra has always been "Great ideas, mediocre implementation, lousy execution, all fucked up by managers and accountants with no experience whatsoever in the fields they're controlling"

          To be fair, I don't think that mantra is strictly a UK thing.

          Have one, regardless ---->

    2. Mooseman Silver badge

      Re: We could do it!

      "We could do it and do it a lot cheaper than most other countries"

      Based on what evidence, exactly? Yes we could do it, but it will be vastly expensive, run hugely over budget and rely on other countries (as usual) for the actual orbit launch.

      1. Alan Brown Silver badge

        Re: We could do it!

        "Yes we could do it, but it will be vastly expensive, run hugely over budget and rely on other countries (as usual) for the actual orbit launch."

        The UK's ONLY orbital launch was ontime and under budget. The USA promised free rides with NASA and then started charging as soon as the UK launching capability was dismantled.

        As ever, Whitehall wonks decided there was no possible market for space launches "and anyway the americans are giving us space for free".

        I'd include TSR2 as another example but that one (like Suez) was more clearly a case of the UK doing something without USA permission and being slapped down rather hard.

        1. Mooseman Silver badge

          Re: We could do it!

          "I'd include TSR2 as another example"

          TSR2 was killed because nobody could decide what it was actually supposed to do, or be capable of doing. Not really the fault of the USA for once, more dithering and vacillation and woolly-thinking from Whitehall.

  19. wolfetone
    Trollface

    Most Brexiters won't understand the issues involved in this, because they're all still cluching at their 1992 version of their local A to Z.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Avoiding EU contamination

      1992? It would need to be a pre-1972 version.

  20. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    So typical

    Once the Register used to be a neutral site what reported accurately on IT issues. Now it, along with literally every site on the internet has gone left Wong like the Guardian and anti-British with every breath. If you want Jeremy Combine, a literal communist to run this country then your mad. At least Brian Johnstone and Pretty Porthole are trying to make Britain Grate again with its own Satellites that will will provide jobs and stream Netflix much faster to a greateful nation. And take back control giving us nurses. The Queen is pro-this project like she's pro-HS2 so you should really get behind Borus and push hard.

    Shame on you The Registrar. You can do better than thus. You'll be panicking when you get the Camillavirus and although I don't want to see your face with boils over it like a pot noodle you probably deserve it like that bloke on Love Island who cheated and got found out.

    1. wolfetone

      Re: So typical

      I didn't know they gave Tommy Robinson internet access in his jail cell. Who knew?

    2. Mooseman Silver badge

      Re: So typical

      Not enough block capitals. Good pastiche though :)

  21. Alan Brown Silver badge

    Prestige

    As with "Antarctic research", virtually ALL space activity is about government dick waving - particularly anything to do with manned flight.

    The science is and always has been secondary to proving that they're "here" and they have a "territory claim"

    Why do you suppose rockets are shaped like something you might get from LoveHoney?

  22. Welsh Skeptic

    Reading the very interesting comments, surely the simple and most obvious solution if it is needed in the first place is to link up with Japan who cover their area and with India covering their area to form a complete system and so reduce some of the junk that is already up there.

    More seriously, Musk and his 10,000 satellites must be regarded as the biggest threat for the Kelly cascade especially when all the other countries will want to put the same number up there.

    It would appear that we are blindly heading towards just what everybody was afraid of and nobody seems to be doing anything about it.

    Just another stupid example of how the human race is rushing towards extinction.

    Perhaps the insects will be better at running things until they make the same mistakes.

  23. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    "Another possibility is a dawning realisation that maybe the UK doesn't really need the BS. A bit of negotiation with the EU might give the Brits access to the Public Regulated Service (PRS) of Galileo that the military would like, and there is always good old GPS, which celebrated 42 years since its first launch last month."

    In the document laying out the EU's negotiating position for an EU/UK trade deal, they had this to say about the UK's access to Galileo PRS:

    “The envisaged partnership should provide for the possibility for the UK to have access to the PRS through provisions on PRS in accordance with EU law. Such provisions on PRS should allow the UK to secure access to the most resilient service of Galileo for sensitive applications in the context of Union operations or ad hoc operations involving its member states. Since access to the development of technologies is excluded, access to the Galileo PRS should be conditional upon ensuring that the UK’s use of PRS does not contravene the essential security interests of the EU and its member states.”

    In other words, the UK could only use PRS when acting in cooperation with EU member states i.e. "You can only use it when you are working for us and we will cut your PRS access if you do anything we don't approve". That's no better than with GPS.

    1. Mooseman Silver badge

      "You can only use it when you are working for us and we will cut your PRS access if you do anything we don't approve"

      Yes, because WE (that's us, the "united" kingdom) insisted it shouldn't be available for non EU states to use. Now we have left apparently people are confused by what "non EU" means.

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