HC Deb 06 December 2001 vol 376 c447W
Mr. Key

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, Local Government and the Regions if he will make a statement about the UK's membership of the Galileo global satellite navigation system. [21223]

Mr. Jamieson

The Galileo global satellite navigation system is a joint initiative by the European Community and the European Space Agency and the UK participates through its membership of both organisations. But the UK has a number of concerns about the project, including its costs and how these could be funded through a viable public-private partnership, and the benefits that the system would provide to users. A study by PricewaterhouseCoopers on behalf of the European Commission published only on 22 November reinforces these concerns.

The Transport Council at its meeting on 7 December is scheduled to consider the release of Community funds and the establishment of a Joint Undertaking to manage and procure the development and validation phase of Galileo. We will seek a deferment of the decisions on the basis that further work as highlighted by the study should be carried out.

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