The decision to face down the EU over its hard line negotiating stance has come as it emerged that unity over Brussel’s strategy from the other 27 member states is crumbling.
According to reports a number of EU governments including France, Sweden, the Netherlands and three Baltic states have made it clear they do not agree with the hard line approach being taken by chief negotiator Michel Barnier.
They fear that the EU is leading the bloc down a path to reduced security and economic problems because it is trying to attack the UK over Brexit.
In a separate warning, the UK Government has said that EU and British citizens will all be under threat unless the EU is willing to do a bespoke deal with Britain on security.
Meanwhile, Government sources have said that the EU Withdrawal Bill will return to the Commons to consider amendments by the Lords in the first half of June.
This means that the Bill could be passed before the summer strengthening Mrs May’s hand in walking away from the talks.
But taking a tough line over the Galileo Project, which Britain actually started before sharing with the EU, the UK Government has threatened to launch its own version of the system if the EU does not change its stance, according to a document issued by the Department for Exiting the European Union.
The document also makes clear that the UK will seek to have the £1 billion it has already invested in the project – a rival to GPS – refunded if it withdraws from the venture.
Britain has rejected the EU’s view that it cannot remain a full member of the project after Brexit as London insists it is in the interest of both sides to continue to work closely together on security issues.
Brussels has made it clear that the UK cannot access the same encrypted Galileo information as EU members, or be involved in its development post-Brexit.
Excluding the UK from full participation in Galileo will cost the EU one billion euro (£880 million) and set the project back by three years, the document states.
The paper said that the position adopted by Brussels “risks being interpreted as a lack of trust” in the UK.
“The UK… has a strong objection to its ongoing exclusion from security-related discussions and exchanges pertaining to the post-2019 development of Galileo.”
The paper warns the UK will go its own way if its demands are not met, stating: “If agreement cannot be reached on the future balance of rights and obligations, and UK security and industrial requirements consequently cannot be met, the UK could not justify future participation in Galileo.
“In parallel, the UK is therefore exploring alternatives to fulfil its needs for secure and resilient position, navigation and timing information, including the option for a domestic satellite system.
“The UK wants Galileo to be a core component of the future UK-EU security partnership.”
Meanwhile, the Commons Brexit committee has suggested that the UK could end up staying longer in the customs union under Brussels rule because the Government has not come up with solution for customs arrangements.
The committee was though criticised by Tory member Andrea Jenkyns who claimed it was “too Remain focussed” under Labour MP Hilary Benn’s chairmanship.
She announced she was resigning as a government parliamentary private secretary to have more time to focus on her Brexit committee work to help “achieve the right Brexit”.
Source : EXPRESS