And suddenly, the Brexit became a reality. It was exactly two years ago, on June 23, 2016, the British voted in favour of an exit from the european Union (EU). So far, despite the dramatic politics surrounding the negotiations, nothing has really changed. One of the first concrete consequences comes… space. Applying to the letter rules that the United Kingdom had itself approved, Brussels has decided to exclude british companies from tendering for the part encrypted Galileo satellite system, the european competitor of the american GPS. Only the companies that are present in the member countries of the EU may be a candidate.
It is little to say that London is furious. Galileo, which will work fully in a little over two years, is much more than a system of geolocation more accurate than the GPS. Like its american competitor, it has an encrypted signal, which is used in particular guidance system for missiles. His control is militarily strategic. Not to mention that a good part of british industry has got juicy contracts on this project.
For the past three months, the british government turned up the pressure. The ministers of defence, of industry, Brexit and the first minister, Theresa May, are all mounted in the niche. If it is out of Galileo, the United Kingdom’s threat to build its own competing system, an idea which seems hardly credible in the light of its cost.
“The Europeans take a shot in the foot ”
“The Europeans take a shot in the foot to see if their gun works,” acknowledges David Davis, the minister of Brexit. According to him, is to deprive british companies and some of their technical edge will delay the construction of Galileo three years and cost 1 billion euros. “The problem is that the foot in question is the United Kingdom “, replica Bleddyn Bowen, specialist…