British Airbus part moves secret Galileo test to mainland due to Brexit

Nov

20

2018

British company Surrey Satellite Technology, which is part of Airbus, will transfer a secret navigation test from the Galileo positioning system to the European mainland. That decision is connected with the Brexit.

Gary Lay, a director of the British company, told the Financial Times that provisions were made to carry out the test on the European mainland. He says his company can no longer meet a contract if the United Kingdom is no longer part of the EU after Brexit. Lay reports that all the non-secret work for Galileo is still being carried out at Surrey Satellite Technology in Portsmouth, UK. The transfer will offer work in Europe for a handful of employees.

The European Union believes that the United Kingdom should no longer have access to the protected part of the Galileo system when the kingdom leaves the EU. This mainly concerns the protected part of the navigation system that is intended for government use.

The consequences of this Brussels configuration are already visible; Surrey Satellite Technology has already been excluded from a tender to realize the fourth series of satellites for the Galileo project. In a recent political statement that accompanies the draft agreement for Brexit, it is clear that agreements can be considered for cooperation in the area of ​​space travel, including satellite navigation.

The UK has already decided to reserve £ 92 million to design a possible alternative to Galileo . This is converted to 101 million euros, which is meant for the initial research that is needed to come up with an alternative. However, this can also be a pressure tool to move the EU in order to continue to involve the UK in the Galileo project. Some British academics have already indicated that, in view of the enormous costs, it is unwise for the United Kingdom to develop its own positioning system.

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