Conservative MPs Set to Rebel Against Boris Johnson Over Huawei Having Its Fingers in UK’s 5G Pie

© AFP 2023 / DANIEL LEAL-OLIVASA photograph shows the logo of Chinese company Huawei at their main UK offices in Reading, west of London, on January 28, 2020
A photograph shows the logo of Chinese company Huawei at their main UK offices in Reading, west of London, on January 28, 2020 - Sputnik International
The United States has been putting pressure on its allies - the UK and Canada - not to allow Huawei to take part in the construction of their 5G phone networks. The British government approved Huawei’s involvement in January but capped its share at 35 percent.

Up to 30 Conservative MPs, led by former leader Iain Duncan Smith, are planning to rebel against Boris Johnson over Huawei and vote against the government in Parliament on Tuesday, 10 March, media report.

They will vote for an amendment to the Telecommunications Infrastucture Bill which would ban firms classified as "high-risk vendors" by the National Cyber Security Centre from working on the project by 31 December 2022.

​Huawei are considered “high-risk” by the National Cyber Security Centre because they are Chinese and it is alleged they could be influenced by the government in Beijing to hand over sensitive information about Britain’s 5G network.

Tory MP Bob Seely said Parliament should be debating Huawei's role in the UK's mobile telecoms infrastructure.

He said: "The important thing is that, with the vibe that we're getting from colleagues, many many more are very concerned about it.”

​Boris Johnson’s government has a majority of 80, so there is little chance the amendment would be passed but it would be an embarrassment for the Prime Minister, who has already been criticised by the White House for allowing Huawei to be involved.

In December US National Security Adviser Robert O’Brien warned the UK government any decision to allow Huawei to participate in the country’s 5G technology rollout would risk providing Beijing with access to the personal information of British citizens, as well as permit the Chinese Communist Party to “steal” its national intelligence secrets.

​In May 2019 the then Prime Minister Theresa May sacked her Defence Secretary Gavin Williamson after he was accused of leaking confidential discussions about Huawei's involvement, which he opposed on security grounds.

Williamson was brought back into the Cabinet by Boris Johnson and is the current Education Secretary but the Prime Minister has pressed on with plans for Huawei to help build the 5G network.

​The UK government has said Huawei will be excluded from the most sensitive parts of the 5G network and it expects its market share to decline as “new players emerge”.

The row in the Conservative Party comes as the US seeks to press Canada not to allow Huawei to be involved in its 5G network.

President Donald Trump last year warned Canada it could lose access to top secret intelligence if it did not block Huawei.

On Monday, 9 March, Trump's special representative for international telecoms policy, Robert Blair, stressed to Ottawa the "importance of a secure and reliable next-generation telecommunications infrastructure."

Canada’s Public Safety Minister Bill Blair - no relation - MPs in the Ottawa Parliament on Monday "there is a very robust and important discussion going on between ourselves and our allies" about Huawei.

To participate in the discussion
log in or register
Заголовок открываемого материала