Galileo is intended to provide risk-free satellite technology for the safety and security of EU members and the UK have been significant funders (12%) and contractors (15%) to the space capsules, the ground controls and the high level of security.
Some weeks ago we were told that under EU law as a non-member state we would be denied access to the highest level of security which is only available to member states. This in spite of the assurances given by the Prime Minister that we will co-operate fully with the EU on matters relating to security and defence. However if there is no agreement on security by March 2019 it appears that Britain will be unable to continue working on the system.
There are two aspects to this. Firstly the unexpected practical consequence of Brexit leading to possible loss of business and resulting loss of expertise to our satellite industry who provided much of the pay load of the existing satellites and are designing and developing the pay load for the new ones. We also provide and are developing the cryptography. This and the work to create a satellite ground base are central to our ambition to play a major part in the commercialisation of space.
The other aspect is the risk to our security if we have to rely on a less secure system controlled by others. There are three other systems which are military orientated The Russian Glonass System, The Chinese Compass BDO and the American GPS. But we would be unable to stop any of these systems being switched off, hacked or interfered with in some way. Another alternative could be to build our own system. But if there is no agreement on security much of this work will have to be moved out of the UK.
This matter has now come to a head as tenders for future work have to be in this week. To try and sort this out the government has asked for a three month delay which judging from the information published in Wednesday’s Financial Times has been refused.
The government believes the strict interpretation of EU Law is just a ruse to enable EU companies to get the future work. The minister points out that without us the EU will be worse off as it will add to the cost and extend the timing of the full service for the remaining 27 EU members.
There is a lot worrying about this. Firstly the attitude ‘if you don’t want us we will go elsewhere’. And ‘we want our money back’ is an empty threat if we don’t have a Plan B. Neither does it deal with the concerns of the industry.
Secondly the serious implication that in spite of The Prime Minister’s assurances we still can’t be fully trusted with security matters. Will this lack of trust extend beyond Galileo to other matters regarding defence, criminal activity and terrorism? We are constantly being told how important co-operation is on these matters.
This kind of co-operation on science and technology is also central to our industrial strategy. We have the ambition of spending 3% of our turnover on research and innovation but to achieve this we need to continue our collaboration on science and technology with the EU. We have been net beneficiaries of the past and this needs to continue. It will not unless there is trust and confidentiality.
If we can’t be a trusted and secure partner in Galileo we need to know what satellite system we will use in the future. What future does the government envision for our participation in the space industry without Galileo and how will we become a fully trusted partner in all matters relating to European security and defence?
سایت تابناک از انتشار نظرات حاوی توهین و افترا و نوشته شده با حروف لاتین (فینگیلیش) معذور است.