Theresa May appears set to approve Chinese participation in “non-core” elements of Britain’s 5G network via Huawei, delivering a blow to the Five Eyes security alliance of Anglosphere nations, reports suggest.
The British prime minister overrode the objections of Defence Secretary Gavin Williamson, Home Secretary Sajid Javid, Foreign Secretary Jeremy Hunt, Trade Secretary Liam Fox, and International Development Secretary Penny Mordaunt at a meeting of the National Security Council to allow Huawei, an allegedly employee-owned Chinese telecoms giant, to develop “non-core” infrastructure for the 5G network, according to The Telegraph.
Digital minister Margot James has pushed back on the reports somewhat, not denying that Huawei will be involved in 5G development, but claiming that “In spite of Cabinet leaks to the contrary, final decision yet to be made on managing threats to telecoms infrastructure.”
Poland Espionage Arrests ‘Another Nail in Coffin of Huawei’s European Ambitions’ https://t.co/1FMzKUV6Rj
— Breitbart London (@BreitbartLondon) January 12, 2019
Many senior Tories are concerned that the Prime Minister’s rumoured decision will deal a severe blow to the Five Eyes intelligence network, comprising the Anglosphere nations of the United Kingdom, the United States, Australia, New Zealand, and Canada.
The U.S. is keen that Five Eyes members do not involve Huawei in 5G development, as it could afford the Chinese Communist Party regime a back door to spy on their activities.
The Australian government agrees, warning that there are “serious concerns over Huawei’s obligations to the Chinese government and the danger that poses to the integrity of telecommunications networks in the U.S. and elsewhere”.
Czech Republic Confirms Chinese Tech Giant Huawei a Security Risk https://t.co/DWKGpF8AW1
— Breitbart London (@BreitbartLondon) February 15, 2019
“There’s a reason others have said no,” commented Tom Tugendhat, the chair of the House of Commons foreign affairs committee.
“It is unwise to co-operate in an area of critical national infrastructure with a state that can at best be described as not always friendly.”
There is a risk that the United Kingdom could be shut out if intelligence-sharing if a Huawei connection leads to it being perceived as a “weak link”, potentially leaving the British more at risk from international terrorism and hostile state actions than its allies.