Prime Minister Theresa May has asked experts to look into options for a British satellite navigation system to rival the European Union’s Galileo project amid a row over attempts to restrict Britain’s access to sensitive information after Brexit.
Galileo, a 10 billion euro ($12 billion) satellite program being developed by the EU as a rival to the U.S. Global Positioning System, has emerged as a flashpoint in talks ahead of Britain’s exit from the bloc.
“The Prime Minister has tasked engineering and aerospace experts in the UK to develop options for a British global navigation satellite system,” May’s spokesman said on Wednesday.
“This could see Britain develop and launch its own satellite navigation system by the mid-2020s. This is a response to the EU indicating that it would not allow the UK to participate fully in Galileo.”
The European Commission has started to exclude Britain and its companies from sensitive future work on Galileo ahead of the country’s exit from the EU in a year’s time, a move which Britain has said threatens security collaboration.