Lord Stoddard has asked how much the EU's Galileo global positioning system is costing us. He doesn't get a direct answer but, based on what he is given, I calculate our liability (not including hidden costs) to be £500 million up to 2013.
Although, with the money being sloshed into the financial system, "billions" are becoming part of our daily currency, so a mere £500 million is – by comparison – chicken feed. However, it is still real money and it is being spent for no gain whatsoever, providing absolutely nothing at all at the moment, and nothing that GPS will not give us for free.
Nevertheless, I am sure no one objects to paying that amount of money as a symbol to the glory of the European Union. Cheap at twice the price, I would have thought. But then, since the commission wants £6 billion for operation and maintenance costs, on top of the £2.3 billion design and development costs, we will indeed have to find twice as much again - and a little bit more besides.
But hey! It's only money!