In a move that can only strengthen the UK's Brexit poker hand, the PM is setting our scientists to work on a UK SatNav system.
When the EU first hinted that they wanted the UK out the secure side of of their Galileo satellite system, despite us having paid a substantial amount towards it, I said that the UK should just get on and commence its own programme.
And now the Sun is reporting that Theresa May is doing just that, having become frustrated with EU negotiators who do not want our ongoing participation in Galileo post-Brexit.
And according to No 10 our own system would cost little more than our current contributions to the Galileo system.
According to the Sun, a Downing Street source said:
“The PM is clear our collective security is too important to haggle over.
“We want full access to Galileo, including the crucial secure elements that will help guide British missiles should they be needed to keep us all safe. But if we don’t get access, we will find an alternative.”
And the FT reports that the Chancellor, Philip Hammond, annoyed at the intransigence of the EU over access to Galileo, wants to sabotage the EU system by disrupting the transfer of specialist encryption technology out of the UK.
The EU says it wants to ban UK companies from continuing to work on the programme for security reasons (that is, the EU says it can't trust us).
But the largest supplier of security systems to the Galileo project is CGI UK and the EU has offered CGI a contract to sell the expertise to Thales of France.
Now London is looking at ways of keeping that technology in the UK to possibly work on a new national satellite system reports the FT.
"But Downing Street will try to persuade UK companies to dedicate their technology to developing a “British global navigation satellite system”, which it claimed on Tuesday could be launched by the mid-2020s." Says the 'paper.
And I gather that Philip Hammond said that the Eurocrats gets all huffed and puffed when the US says it is putting tariffs on steel and aluminium for national security reasons, then the Eurocrats go and do the same sort go thing themselves.
Now, we keep on telling the EU that the UK is unreservedly committed to their defence and we have paid in huge sums for them to get that system operational, but they want our support for free and give nothing in return.
How can the UK operate its weapons systems in defence of the EU without that access? Stupid reasoning by the EU really!
I also have my suspicions that, if the UK was forced to do – another Falklands for example, we'd find the system suddenly unavailable anyway – even if we'd voted to stay in the EU!
Use the American GPS you might say, but if we are still going to be a part of the EU's PESCO as our Remainers and civil servants want us to be and are tied into the EU defence procurement rules, will we be allowed to fit GPS?
For me, full independence is the only way! And that includes our own satellite system. After all, the UK government spends about six or seven times what the EU Commission does and the Galilieo system came out of the EU budget – so we can definitely afford it. In fact it would be great for our UK domestic tech industry!
But according to Ian Kearns writing in CapX, we might be able forget Brexit because the EU might be on the brink of collapse anyway.
He bases his piece on the problems in the Eurozone which, if not dealt with, would bring the whole house of cards down.
And the common thread to all of this he says, is "a reluctance on the part of national authorities to pursue genuinely European solutions". So that when a crisis comes along each eurozone state has to sort itself out and that he says, cannot go on much longer.
"A scan of the horizon suggests it is all too possible to identify the triggers for what could quickly become a eurozone and wider EU collapse." Says the author and he goes on to point at the current slowing of the global economy or a trade war with Trump or a financial crisis in China, with any ensuing recession leading to more banking and sovereign debt crises.
A recession hit Italy would be particularly worrying, he says, as the choice would be begging help from other Eurozone states in exchange for all sorts of austerity or crashing out of the Euro.
"There is therefore a plausible path to a major euro exit, contagion to other parts of the eurozone, and an existential crisis for the euro buried in a new financial crisis, whether that crisis starts in Europe or somewhere else in the world." He writes.
Then he goes on to point out the extra risks to the EU of the emerging anti-EU parties across the bloc and the rising number of people voting for them.
"British negotiators may strain every sinew to get a deal, only to discover the entity they’ve agreed it with soon no longer exists." he finishes.
And finally, the Express says that Theresa May has been urged by Brexiteers to put her party on snap General Election alert in order to bring the party's Brexit rebels into line.
And with an Express/Comres poll indicating that the PM has a strong lead of 46% to 30% over Corbyn where the economy is concerned you can see why some hawks maybe tempted. But I would ask, what did the polls say just before the General Election last year?
The Express quotes one Brexit backing minister as saying:
"There could be a general election this summer. With the Remainers becoming so intransigent, the Prime Minister may need to call their bluff by going to the country."
Can you honestly see Theresa May treading that path again so soon?