Galileo blow: ‘Innovative’ Britain secures 'steal’ alternative – EU project ruled out


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Speaking before the Science and Technology Committee this week, Business Secretary Kwasi Kwarteng said the UK can go it alone by developing its own system to rival the EU’s Galileo project. The satellite system is an £8billion navigation project intended to rival the US-controlled Global Positioning System (GPS). The UK was barred from the Galileo project following its departure from the EU.

Mr Kwarteng told the committee: “In terms of positioning, navigation and timing (PNT), which Galileo is all about, that is something that we could do ourselves.

“Some people say ‘we can’t do this, there is no way there we could do PNT outside Galileo’.I don’t happen to agree with this.”

Speaking to, David Morris, Conservative MP for Morecambe and Lunesdale, praised the progress made on the OneWeb project, which is touted as the British alternative.

He also praised the Government’s decision to spend $500million (£369 million) to purchase the satellite system in July 2020.

After the company filed for bankruptcy in March that year, the Government, partnering with Indian company Bhakti Global, won the auction.

Mr Morris, who is the Chairman of the Parliamentary Space Committee, said: “I think [OneWeb] is doing well.

“OneWeb was bought nearly two years ago now at quite a reasonable price.

“$500 million is a mind-blowing amount of money, but for what we actually bought, and for what it’s now worth, in Governmental terms it’s an absolute steal.

“It’s one of the better decisions we’ve made.”

READ MORE: Galileo blow: UK rules out EU return and storms ahead with alternative

Mr Morris went on to criticise “most governments” for not fully understanding the space industry.

He said: “America tends to invest through private enterprises like [Elon] Musk and [Jeff] Bezos and people who have put together these wonderful concepts and we’re playing catch-up.

“However, where we invent more than others do, and that’s where our prowess is.

“Most Intellectual property is done by the Brits as we’re very innovative in how to get around the problem.

“The Americans do recognise this and we work with them as well.

“That’s where our strengths are, but we need investment in the space industry and absolutely certain that in time that will come.”


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