The European Commission plans to exclude Britain from its Galileo satellite programme after Brexit due to security concerns, the media reported.
In a letter from the Commission to the British government, the EU said British businesses may no longer be able to bid on the Galileo project and the British military might also not be able to use the system, Xinhua news agency cited online tech publisher The Register as saying.
Galileo aims to build an European rival to the American GPS system, or possibly, Russia’s Global Navigation Satellite System — also known as GLONASS.
European Commission spokesman Alexander Winterstein said it was “the right time to start thinking about adjusting co-operation” on Galileo as Britain will no longer be a part of the EU from March 29, 2019.
British Defence Secretary Gavin Williamson said the Commission’s approach was “deeply disappointing”. He said the decision “not only will be detrimental to Britain but will also be highly detrimental to European security”.
British Prime Minister Theresa May said she wants a full defence and security treaty with the EU but negotiations are far from complete.
The UK has contributed expertise as well as funds to Galileo. It is also preparing for a rift with the EU with plans to launch its own spaceport.