HC Deb 13 December 1999 vol 341 c58W
Mr. Bercow

To ask the Prime Minister if he will make a statement on Government policy towards the Galileo project; what is the assessed cost of the project; what representations he has received on the issue; what is the current status of the project; for what reasons it had been rejected by the Council; and if he will make a statement. [101015]

The Prime Minister

The Transport Council of the European Union, at its meeting in June, adopted a Resolution which invited the European Commission to proceed with the definition phase of Galileo in conjunction with member states and the European Space Agency. This work has begun. The Commission is required to put forward proposals to the Council on the best way to proceed with the project either independently or in co-operation with international partners by the end of 2000.

The cost of the project is estimated to be at least £2 billion but the definition phase work will help to clarify the overall cost and the arrangements for a possible public-private partnership to fund these.

Following the consultation exercise the Government believe further analysis needs to be done on issues such as cost, the public-private partnership, benefits to users and security arrangements. The work now being undertaken by the Commission should enable decisions on the best way forward to be taken.