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Iran Press TV

UK to start work on post-Brexit satellite system to rival EU's Galileo: Report

Iran Press TV

Sun Aug 26, 2018 02:06PM

UK Prime Minister Theresa May has ordered officials to start work on a British satellite navigation system to rival the European Union's Galileo because the UK's access to sensitive security information could be restricted after Brexit, according to British media.

The Sunday Telegraph reported that an official announcement will be made this week about the work on the satellite navigation system which is to rival Galileo, a satellite program which the EU has been developing to rival the US Global Positioning System (GPS).

UK Finance minister Philip Hammond has approved 100 million pounds to explore the massive satellite system.

Britain's Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy would not comment on the report in the Sunday Telegraph. However, it comes amid other reports suggesting that the EU would exclude Britain and its companies from sensitive future work on Galileo, a 10 billion euro ($11.44 billion) project, after the country leaves the bloc in March.

Estimates suggest that Britain will have to spend about 3 billion pounds to build a system that could rival Galileo. The country can also be refunded up to one billion pounds for the work it has carried out on the project which has been underway since 2003 and is expected to be completed by 2020.

Britain can continue to use Galileo's open signal in future but its military could be barred from the encrypted version when the European project becomes fully operational, according to EU officials.

Britain and the EU are in the midst of some breathtaking and complicated negotiations over Brexit.

A plan by May in early July sparked fresh concerns about the future relations between the two sides as EU refused to accept key demands from it.

Many in May's own cabinet have warned that there is a high chance for Britain to crash out of the EU without a deal. The government insists there are still common grounds for reaching an agreement.

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