Theresa May defies security warnings to APPROVE Huawei deal allowing the Chinese telecoms giant to help build Britain’s new 5G network
- National Security Council, chaired by Mrs May, allowed Huawei limited access
- Can help sections of network such as antennas and non-essential infrastructure
- Cabinet ministers including Sajid Javid are all believed to have voiced concern
Theresa May has defied security warnings from senior Government ministers and allowed controversial Chinese telecoms giant Huawei to help build Britain’s new 5G network.
The National Security Council, which is chaired by the Prime Minister, yesterday gave the green light to give Huawei limited access to help construct sections of the network such as antennas and non-essential infrastructure.
Home Secretary Sajid Javid, Foreign Secretary Jeremy Hunt, Defence Secretary Gavin Williamson, International Trade Secretary Liam Fox and International Development Secretary Penny Mordaunt are all believed to have voiced concern over the decision, the Daily Telegraph reported.
Huawei CEO Richard Yu stands during the presentation of the new Huawei P30 smartphone, in Paris on March 26
The Prime Minister’s decision comes amid repeated warnings from senior British intelligence officials and the international community of the risks posed by allowing such access to the Chinese company.
The US has banned Huawei from its government networks and put pressure on other countries included in the Five Eyes intelligence agreement – the UK, Australia, New Zealand and Canada – to follow suit.
Prime Minister Theresa May attends an Easter Sunday church service near her Maidenhead constituency
Meng Wanzhou, Huawei’s chief financial officer and daughter of its founder, Ren Zhengfei, was arrested in Canada in December at the request of the US on charges of bank and wire fraud in violation of US sanctions against Iran.
She denies any wrongdoing and her father said the arrest was ‘politically motivated’.
Australia and New Zealand have blocked Huawei from supplying equipment for its 5G mobile network.
Alex Younger, head of MI6, has previously warned that Britain needs to decide how ‘comfortable’ it is with Chinese-owned companies having involvement in its telecoms infrastructure.
Ciaran Martin, the chief executive of the UK’s National Cyber Security Centre – part of GCHQ – has previously stated that he was ‘confident’ the UK can manage the risk posed by Huawei.
Chinese companies are required to co-operate with the state’s intelligence agencies, a principle that has raised significant concerns in the West. Huawei denies having any ties to the Chinese government.