HC Deb 16 April 2002 vol 383 cc845-6W
Harry Cohen

To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry to what extent the UK is supporting the European Union's Galileo satellite programme broken down by Departments' budgets and purpose of funding; what representations about the programme were made from the US and how they were responded to; and if she will make a statement. [48886]

Mr. Jamieson

I have been asked to reply.

The UK is supporting the Galileo satellite navigation programme through contributions to the European Space Agency (ESA), which is jointly funding and carrying out the programme with the European Union. For the definition phase (1999–2000) and some early development work (2001) the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) has contributed £7.91 million while my Department has contributed £2.45 million. For the development and validation phase (2002–05) which was approved in March by the EU Transport Council, negotiations within ESA over member states' contributions are still progressing. Funds for the programme are also being provided from the budget of the European Communities to which the UK contributes.

The US has expressed concerns about the security implications of Galileo and, in particular, the problems of signal interference and incompatibility, which could arise with its own Global Positioning System (GPS). As we shared these concerns, in our negotiations within the EU we ensured that these were taken into account. The Transport Council decision emphasises the need for Galileo to be interoperable with GPS and that a co-operation agreement between the EU and the US should be negotiated as soon as possible.