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German plot to exclude Britain from EU Galileo satellite programme

A German-backed clique of Brussels officials in the European Commission is fighting to exclude Britain from the Galileo satellite project.

French officials privately said they were unhappy with proposals that would block Britain from the government and military navigation system after Brexit.

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Other nations standing in solidarity with Britain and defending the country against Brussels officials include Spain, Sweden, the Netherlands, and the Baltic states.

A German-backed clique of Brussels officials in the European Commission is fighting to exclude Britain from the Galileo satellite project 

Led by Martin Selmayr, the commission’s top mandarin, the Brussels group is causing some concern among diplomats who believe they could be acting beyond their remit.

Mr Selmayr wrote to Sir Tim Barrow, Britain’s ambassador to the EU, in April with the aim to end British involvement in Galileo without proper consultation.

British ministers will on Thursday demand the EU pay back more than €1 billion, about 12 per cent of Galielo’s budget, that UK taxpayers contributed to the project so far if it is not allowed to participate fully, according to The Times.

Led by Martin Selmayr (pictured), the commission's top mandarin, the Brussels group is causing some concern among diplomats who believe they could be acting beyond their remit.

Led by Martin Selmayr (pictured), the commission’s top mandarin, the Brussels group is causing some concern among diplomats who believe they could be acting beyond their remit.

At the centre of the row, the Brussels clique wants to refuse Britain access to the codes that control the satellite system.

This theoretically allows the EU to switch off the military component of the service at will, which some EU member states believed would create a security threat.

‘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,’ one European diplomat said.

‘Germany particularly is taken with this idea. Other countries with greater security interests, like France or Spain, are more pragmatic.’

At the centre of the row, the Brussels clique wants to refuse Britain access to the codes that control the satellite system

At the centre of the row, the Brussels clique wants to refuse Britain access to the codes that control the satellite system

Mr Selmayr, the head of the so-called ‘clique’, is close to German economy minister Peter Altmaier.

‘This really is not treating people properly,’ representatives of EU states said of the commission’s failure to respond to Britain’s request for clarification.

‘Britain is still a full member of the EU and to ignore requests made through the proper channels is shocking.

‘There is sympathy for Britain at being treated in this peremptory way.’ 



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