As it is increasingly likely that the United Kingdom will leave the European Union without a deal on 12 April, the European Commission is completing its “no-deal” preparations, says the EC' daily news report.
And as part of its Brexit preparedness work, the Commission is taking the necessary operational steps to preserve the security of the Galileo satellite navigation system after the withdrawal of the United Kingdom from the European Union.
The Galileo back-up sites located in the United Kingdom's territory are being transferred to the EU. Following a Commission decision in January 2018, the Galileo Security Monitoring Center (GSMC) back up site has been moved to Spain.
Now the two Galileo Sensor Stations located on the Falkland and Ascension Islands are being removed. The Galileo sensor stations located on the Ascension and Falkland Islands host cryptographic material/EU classified information, which in accordance with the EU security rules is not allowed to be located in the territory of third countries, unless relevant agreements are in place.
This Monday the Commission has amended the relevant legal act determining the location of the ground-based infrastructure of the system established under the Galileo program and setting out the necessary measures to ensure that it functions smoothly.
The removal of these two stations does not affect the overall performance of Galileo services, which remains excellent, as there is sufficient capacity in the system.
Galileo, the EU's global satellite navigation system, has been providing positioning and timing services to around 600 million users since December 2016. The number of users continues to grow and Galileo provides an increasingly precise signal across a range of valuable services.