May Says U.K. to Develop Rival to EU Satellite System If Needed

(Bloomberg) -- The U.K. will develop its own satellite navigation system if the European Union decides to bar the nation from accessing the bloc’s Galileo program after Brexit, Prime Minister Theresa May said.

“This is an issue,” May told the BBC’s “Andrew Marr Show” on Sunday. “The U.K. has been contributing significantly to the Galileo program so far” but the EU has said the country can’t keep the same access to the system after leaving the bloc, she said.

While the two sides are “still discussing” the matter, May had a “very clear” message should the EU fail to change it position: “If it is your decision, then we will ensure that we have what Britain needs and we will do it ourselves.”

The EU has made it harder for British companies to win contracts for the next stages of the 10 billion-euro ($11.6 billion) Galileo program, and has also raised the prospect of excluding the U.K. from the project’s Public Regulated Service -- the encrypted navigation used for government and defense purposes. The U.K. is to leave the EU early next year.

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