Yet Another GNSS — Now for the UK

May 28, 2018  - By

The United Kingdom and the European Union (EU) continue locked in conflict over Galileo post-Brexit, much akin to a divorce dispute over the children.

The European Commission has initiated proceedings to exclude the U.K. and its companies from security work on Galileo before the country’s exit from the bloc next year, a move that presages exclusion from use of the security features of the Galileo PRS signal.

The U.K. has responded with a demand for repayment of up to 1 billion pounds ($1.34 billion).

Both sides say they wish to continue working together on the GNSS, but the EU insists that it must be under new rules, including those preventing third countries from obtaining access to critical security information. The European Commission, executive arm of the EU, says the U.K. can no longer be trusted with sensitive data providing a secure back-up for the new satellite system.

“It’s simple: Britain is part of Galileo today as an EU member, but won’t be automatically part of Galileo tomorrow as a third-party state,” said an EU advisor. “That’s the mechanical, legal consequence of Brexit.”

The U.K. for its part has made unrestricted access a condition for a broader security collaboration.

There has been speculation that the U.K. would use the $1.34 billion alimony settlement to build a new GNSS, drawing on expertise from Australia — in effect, engendering offspring from a new marriage.

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