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UK May Start Space Race With EU as May Wants Domestic Sat-Nav System – Reports

© AFP 2023 / NASA / This NASA artist's concept shows the Galileo spacecraft flying by Jupiter's volcanic moon Io (L) and the gigantic planet (R).
This NASA artist's concept shows the Galileo spacecraft flying by Jupiter's volcanic moon Io (L) and the gigantic planet (R). - Sputnik International
The Galileo system is a joint project between the EU and the European Space Agency aimed at creating a positioning system that's independent of the United States, Russia or China. It was launched in December 2017, after 15 years of development.

Prime Minister Theresa May has given the green light to the development of a British-made satellite-navigation system in the face of the country's imminent exclusion from the European Galileo program, according to The Telegraph.

The decision came as UK Chancellor Philip Hammond approved the allocation of 100 million pounds (about 128 million dollars) for the implementation of the domestic project to compete with Galileo.

READ MORE: SoXSA Director Explains What Exclusion From Galileo Means for London

The Telegraph cited Graham Turnock, chief executive of the UK Space Agency, as saying that he is downbeat about his country's participation in the project.

"We would like to continue to participate (in Galileo) and we would still like a good outcome on Galileo but the signs I'm afraid are not terribly positive given the position and approach that the Commission has taken," Turnock pointed out.

He was echoed by a Whitehall source saying that even though the UK still wants "to be part of the Galileo project", it has to brace for "all eventualities."

READ MORE: EU Launches Galileo Satellite Navigation System – European Space Agency

The remarks came amid reports that EU officials have already started blocking the British Space Agency's access to Galileo, claiming that the UK's continued involvement the program would threaten the EU's security after Britain's withdrawal from the bloc.,

A picture shows a general view of HM Naval Base Clyde in Scotland - Sputnik International
UK to Earmark $3.3Mln for Building New Spaceport in N. Scotland - Space Agency
The UK has already contributed 1.2billion pounds (1.5 billion dollars) to the 10-billion-pound (13-billion-dollar) project which is named after Italian astronomer Galileo Galilei and aimed at providing an independent high-precision positioning system, similar to the US's GPS system.

In June, then-UK Defence Procurement Minister Guto Bebb claimed that Britain is able to create a rival to Galileo worth about three billion pounds (3.8 billion dollars).

The Brexit negotiations between London and the European Union began last year and are due to be finished by the end of March 2019.

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