Huawei should be completely banned from supplying 5G mobile networks in the UK because its operations are “subject to influence by the Chinese state”, according to a report by a Conservative MP and two academics.
They argue that a decision announced by Theresa May last month, following a fraught meeting of the National Security Council (NSC), to allow the company to supply “non-core” equipment should be overturned because using the company’s technology presents “risks”.
In a report from the Henry Jackson Society (HJS), the authors go on to claim Huawei “has long been accused of espionage” – a claim denied repeatedly by the firm – and notes that “while there are no definitely proven cases”, a precautionary principle should be adopted.
The document is co-authored by the Tory MP Bob Seely, who has already raised concerns about Huawei, and the expert academics Peter Varnish and John Hemmings. It adds to pressure heaped on the British government to reconsider letting Huawei participate in the UK’s 5G network from the US and Australia, whose intelligence agencies share information with the UK.
Last month May provisionally approved the use of Huawei technology for parts of the UK’s future 5G telecoms networks after a meeting of the NSC. A leaked account of the meeting said five cabinet ministers raised concerns about the company.
The HJS report has a foreword by Sir Richard Dearlove, who led MI6 between 1999 and 2004. Using blunter language than the report’s authors, he wrote: “I very much hope there is time for the UK Government … to reconsider the Huawei decision.
“No part of the Communist Chinese state is ultimately able to operate free of the control exercised by its Communist Party leadership,” Dearlove added. “Therefore, we must conclude the engagement of Huawei presents a potential security risk to the UK.” Read more