The UK government wants its money back from Galileo satellite project where the country worked jointly with France, Spain, Sweden, the Netherlands, and the Baltic states, The Times understands.
British ministers will demand €1 billion paid to GPS project be refunded if it’s kicked out due to Brexit. The exit of the UK from the UE made other countries to re-think Galileo’s aims. While Germany insists on the excluding the UK from an ambitious project, French officials privately said they were unhappy with proposals that would block Britain from the government and military navigation system after Brexit.
Following the April official letter by Martin Selmayr, the commission’s top mandarin, to Sir Tim Barrow, the UK’s ambassador to the EU, with the aim to end British involvement in Galileo without proper consultation, British ministers made the decision.
On Thursday, the Whitehall demanded the EU pay back more than €1 billion. it is about 12 percent of Galileo’s budget, and the British taxpayers definitely should get their money contributed to the GPS project back.
Galileo as a bitter flashpoint of Brexit
The row over Galileo has become a bitter flashpoint in the Brexit negotiations which reopened in Brussels this week after moves to shut British businesses out of the €10 billion project on legal grounds. earlier, the experts predicted that UK-EU divorce will cost a lot of money to both sides.
Galileo project is a sensitive aspect of EU security, stressed the EU diplomat during the discussion regarding UK’s exit. He said:
‘It is not acceptable that security is sacrificed to a clique that wants to use Brexit as, what they call, a ‘pedagogical exercise’ in showing the benefits of EU membership and the cost of leaving,’
and added that Germany particularly is taken with this idea. Moreover, France or Spain that have greater security interests are more pragmatic.