Author: John Jacobson

John Jacobson is a retired Chartered Consultant Engineer.

Budget 2021: what we already knew but hoped we wouldn’t need to hear

John Jacobson

In the days before Budget Day, 3 March 2021, various government ministers and the Chancellor continued to give little previews, some tantalising titbits of what might be in the upcoming Budget. It made it seem, as was noted on Radio 4 Tuesday’s PM ‘more like Budget Week’ than Budget Day. Such was the fervour that […]

Brexit and orcas, a ‘whale of a time’ for British sailors

John Jacobson

A survey of members by the Royal Yachting Association (RYA) in October 2020 found there would be ‘almost 900,000 UK boaters whose plans will be disrupted by the change in travel rules on 31 December’. Responding to specific questions in the survey, ‘53% of UK boaters boating abroad said they will be ‘greatly affected’ by the limitations of the Schengen rule’.

“A day-to-day battle just to make the new arrangements work”

John Jacobson

During questioning of the witnesses by members of the Committee it was clear that many of the current difficulties were not just teething problems, and could get worse when waivers on import checks and rules of origin expire in about four months. Some current business models were now unsustainable and could not survive.

Is Britishvolt two timing Blyth?

John Jacobson

On Valentine’s day this month Britishvolt, the investor for the proposed ‘Gigaplant’ car battery manufacturing development for Blyth, professed its love for Northumberland in a Facebook post. The ‘post’ featured in a previous North East Bylines article highlighting the company’s changed affections from its earlier avowed intentions to locate the facility in Wales. The day after, on 15 February, Italvolt announced its plans in a press release for a new 4 billion Euro ‘Gigafactory’ to be built in an as yet undecided location in Italy.

New batteries from old, or will it be just the same old story for Blyth?

John Jacobson

It is a really remarkable story for a company formed just over a year ago, on 31 December 2019, by one person living in Sweden with no experience of electric battery manufacture and with an initial 100 shares of £1 nominal value each. The company balance sheet to July 2020 … notes that “During the period from incorporation on 31 December 2019 to 6 July 2020 the Company has not traded and received no income….”

MP’s Oneweb investigation launches into a low profile orbit.

John Jacobson

If satellites collide, they can produce thousands of pieces of debris that can potentially hit other satellites, as occurred in 2009 when in an active U.S. satellite collided with an old Russian military satellite creating a large cloud of thousands of pieces of dangerous debris.

UK OneWeb: Cummings’ space oddity?

John Jacobson

In December 2018, after a period of failed negotiations with the EU, Theresa May’s government issued a press release which confirmed that the UK would not use the European global positioning system ‘Galileo’ for defence or critical national infrastructure after Brexit. Instead, it would explore options to build its own satellite system which would help […]