UK could be Shut Out of EU GPS System it Helped Build
Brexit could leave the UK out of new EU-wide global positioning system (GPS)thatwentliveinDecemberafter more than 15 years in development, with much of the cutting-edge work having been carried out by British companies.
The Galileo system, developed in partnership between the European Union and the European Space Agencyhasbeenyearsinthemaking, and was built to end the dependence of European countries on GPS technology provided by either the US, Russia or China, who could shut down access to their systems should they so decide.
But access to Galileo will currently be restricted to members of the EU. When the SNP MP George Kerevan asked in the House of Commons whet her t he Dep a r t ment for International Trade had any plans to negotiate access to Galileo for the UK,tradeministerMarkGarniertold him: “The use of spectrum is incredibly important and that spectrum is a very valuable asset for this country and we will work with Ofcom to ensure that we get our fair share.” The head of the European Space Agency’s EU policy office, Jean Bruston, has previously warned that the UK would have to renegotiate terms to continue participating in Galileo and other space projects. Norway and Switzerland are members of the ESA but had to broker their own agreements to join Galileo in 2009 and 2014 respectively. “As soon as [Britain] is leaving the EU it is not participating in these programmes any longer,” Bruston said.
UK companies hold contracts worth tens of millions to provide hardware to the project. “If nothing changes [and Brexit goes ahead], we would have to stop these contracts,” Bruston warned.
Britain could be lost without Galilep