'UK will build own satellites' - Hammond
The UK will build its own "competing" satellite navigation system if frozen out of the EU's Galileo project, British Chancellor Philip Hammond has said.
The European Commission has threatened to shut British firms out of the €10bn programme, citing legal issues about sharing sensitive information with a non-member state.
The UK cannot accept such a decision, Mr Hammond told reporters while arriving in Brussels for a meeting of finance ministers yesterday.
"We need access to a satellite system of this kind," Mr Hammond said. "A plan has always been to work as a core member of the Galileo project, contributing financially and technically to the project. If that proves impossible then Britain will have to go it alone, possibly with other partners outside Europe and the US, to build a third competing system."