Sunday, July 21, 2024

Gambling with Galileo

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Britain’s space industry is one of the country’s scientific, commercial and manufacturing success stories. It is a significant employer in Stevenage, Portsmouth, Swindon and elsewhere. Hundreds of jobs, and half a century of accumulated experience in satellite navigation and rocket technology is now under threat. A significant customer for Britain’s expertise is the Galileo project, the European Union’s ambitious programme of satellite procurement, delivery and positioning. Citing Britain’s impending withdrawal, the European Commission has decided to shut British firms out of areas of the joint project deemed to be security sensitive.

The commission’s decision is unnecessary and, on the face of it, petulant. Brussels is in a position of some power as regards Brexit negotiations, and should guard against misusing it. A project as long-term,

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