The UK chancellor Philip Hammond has announced that if the European Union refuse the UK access to the Galileo satellite navigation system, the UK will create its own system – a move that will add billions more to the Brexit bill.
From the Guardian:
EU is insistent that the UK had agreed in 2011 as an EU member state on the rules on blocking non-EU countries from access to secure elements of the project.
A senior EU official said, following some fraught negotiations this week, that it had become clear the UK “would like to transform Galileo from a union programme to a joint EU-UK programme, and that is quite a big ask for the EU”.
“They want to have privileged access to the security elements of PRS (the encrypted navigation system for government-authorised users) and to be able to continue manufacturing the security modules which would mean that after Brexit the UK, as a third country, would have the possibility to turn off the signal for the EU,” the official said.
Put like that, the EU’s position makes perfect sense. Why would they put a third country in a position where it can switch off the EU’s system? And the fact that the UK was instrumental in formulating the rules under with third countries – like the UK is about to become – are not allowed access to the system, well that’s kind of ironic really.
But of course that isn’t how the UK government sees things. They want Britain to have some special status again. Called “having your cake and eating it too.” Again.
Hammond told reporters: ““We need access to a satellite system of this kind. A plan has always been to work as a core member of the Galileo project, contributing financially and technically to the project.”
Yes, that was the plan. And that would still be the plan, if we hadn’t decided to leave the EU. But we did decide to leave and now we need to renegotiate all of the deals that we enjoy as members of the EU.